ERIC Number: ED247482
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-May
Reference Count: 0
Special Problems in the Assessment of Children's Needs in the Community.
Jenkins, Richard A.; And Others
The needs assessment literature has not systematically addressed the special problems involved in evaluating the mental health needs of children. In an attempt to provide a low-cost, comprehensive approach to assessing these needs, a multi-modal design, which sampled the impressions of parents and key informants, along with agency and government data, was designed. This needs assessment was subsequently conducted with 104 parents of children aged 0-18 years, and 100 professionals who had significant contact with children and adolescents in a rural-suburban county in northwestern Ohio. Parent interview data were collected on the prevalence of mental health problems in the county, service priorities, barriers to service utilization, resource utilization, behavior problems within the family, and demographic information. Professionals made judgments on service needs and priorities, barriers to service utilization, and services provided. An analysis of the results indicated that the multi-modal design was a useful approach, providing a valid picture of children's mental health needs. There was substantial convergence across data sources regarding important community problems and major planning priorities. The modal also yielded important information regarding system variables, such as interagency communication. Suggestions to increase the usefulness of the design include the use of multiple data sources, collaborative efforts, standardization of agency recordkeeping procedures, and standardization of the research instrument. (Author/BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Poster presentation at the Division 27 affiliated Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association (56th, Chicago, IL, May 3-5, 1984). This study was supported by a grant from the Wood County Mental Health Board, Bowling Green, Ohio.