Community Readiness: A Toolkit to Support Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Awardees in Assessing Community Capacity

Publication Date: February 6, 2020
Cover of "Community Readiness A Toolkit to Support Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Awardees in Assessing Community Capacity"

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  • Published: 2020

Introduction

Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program awardees must conduct a state- or territory-wide needs assessment, including an assessment of community readiness. In the context of evidence-based home visiting, community readiness assessment reviews community connections, capacity and infrastructure to address service gaps through home visiting, and willingness to support home visiting programs. The process should include the perspectives of community leaders, service providers, and other stakeholders and aim to foster potential partnerships.

Purpose

This toolkit will help MIECHV awardees complete their community readiness assessment, as part of their requirement to conduct a state- or territory-wide needs assessment. Awardees will identify home visiting connections, capacity and infrastructure to address service gaps, and community willingness to support evidence-based home visiting programs. Awardees will also explore whether gaps can be filled using home visiting services, how service delivery can be strengthened, and how communities can increase their readiness. Using action steps, recommendations, and worksheets, awardees will collect, organize, and interpret data on community knowledge, leadership, climate, and resources.

Key Findings and Highlights

The MIECHV Community Readiness Toolkit draws on multiple resources to guide users through the process of defining community stakeholders and exploring the dimensions and stages of readiness. The toolkit is organized into three sections:

  • Compiling Existing Community Data reviews and expands on information compiled for the needs assessment by adding information on resources and services available to families in the community.
  • Collecting Stakeholder Data uses interviews, focus groups, and other methods to gather data from leaders, service providers, and other stakeholders.
  • Developing a Community Profile compiles the data to develop a community profile that summarizes the level of need for home visiting services, capacity to deliver services, and preparedness to support home visiting programs.

Methods

Each section includes action steps, recommendations, and worksheets to help users gather, compile, and interpret information.

Citation

Higman, S., Miller, K., Till, L., Atukpawu-Tipton, G., Zaid, S., & Clark, M. (2020). Community readiness: A toolkit to support Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program awardees in assessing community capacity (OPRE Report No. 2020-05). Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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