A Needs Assessment of Communicare's Children Mental Health Services

Shelley Greenwell Fentress


This document is a review of literature on needs assessments and the benefits of conducting one. Communicare is a mental health agency that serves the Lincoln Trail Region. Currently, most of the revenue from their children programs comes from Medicaid, which is a fee-for-services payer source. The Kentucky Medicaid Program is in the process of contracting with managed care organizations to oversee services that have been paid directly from Kentucky Medicaid. With these changes, mental health organizations must identify specific community service needs as well as expanding revenue sources. Applying for grants is one way mental health agencies can expand revenue sources. Communicare has identified the KY SEED grant that focuses on prevention and providing services to early childhood programs as a potential funding source.

A needs assessment was conducted to gather information on children services implemented by Communicare. It was conducted in order to assess current programs and seek out potential areas of future program growth. The needs assessment further sought to identify gaps in services for the early childhood programs and assist in the grant application process. A review of existing data on children’s services offered at Communicare, including a satisfaction survey and a System of Care Assessment Report,was conducted as part of the needs assessment. A Community Forum with community partners from the Lincoln Trail region was held to gather additional data for the needs assessment.