Tool 1-1. Community Needs Assessment


Measures chosen
(pick several from list
in each category)


Rate of selected measures in my community
(note years)

Rate of selected measures in my comparison:

How did the community do relative to the comparison?


(enter high, medium,
or low)

Year 1:

Year 2:

Year 3:

Demographic measures (not an outcome)

  • Number of children under 5 years of age
  • Number and % of people in poverty
  • Number of children under age 5 in poverty
  • % of children in single-parent families

Child development and school readiness

  • Child scores on measures of cognitive development, such as the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test or the Woodcock-Johnson assessments
  • % of homes with a positive home learning environment
  • Preschool participation rate
  • Measures of elementary school academic achievement; for example, test scores
  • Rate of grade retention
  • Rate of high school graduation

Child health

  • Rate of low birth weight
  • Rate of preterm birth
  • Rate of infant mortality
  • Child scores on mental health and physical health survey scales
  • Infant sleep environment

Family economic self-sufficiency

  • % of parents in education or training
  • % of parents with high school diploma/GED
  • % of parents employed
  • Hours per week of parent employment
  • % of parents receiving food stamps
  • % of parents with income above poverty line

Linkages and referrals

  • % of families referred to services (housing assistance, Medicaid, job skills training)
  • % of desired services that were received

Maternal health

  • Maternal scores on mental health survey scales and physical health survey scales
  • % of mothers with access to/use of prenatal health care
  • Rate of low birth weight
  • Rate of preterm birth
  • % of mothers who smoke
  • % of mothers who use illegal substances
  • % of mothers with access to/use of contraceptives
  • % of mothers with adequate social support

Positive parenting practices

  • % of parents who read to child daily
  • Reading frequency
  • Scores on environmental ratings scales, such as the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) scale
  • Percentage of parents using harsh parenting strategies

Child maltreatment

  • Family involvement with Child Protective Services (CPS)
  • Number confirmed cases of child maltreatment per 1,000 children
  • % of children who have ever had injury needing medical care
  • % of parents using harsh parenting strategies
  • % of children hospitalized for trauma
  • % of children hospitalized for ambulatory care

Juvenile Delinquency, Family Violence, and Crime

  • % of families with restraining orders
  • % of families referred to family court
  • Number of arrests, convictions, and days in jail for family members
  • Rates of children or adolescents sent to youth corrections
  • % of families with any domestic violence

NOTE: Not all measures listed in this table will be available at the community level for all communities.