A community needs assessment identifies the strengths and resources available in the community to meet the needs of children, youth, and families. The assessment focuses on the capabilities of the community, including its citizens, agencies, and organizations. It provides a framework for developing and identifying services and strategies to nurture children, move individuals and families to economic security and transform communities.
The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Act requires “an assurance that the State will secure from each eligible entity in the State…a community action plan…that includes a community-needs assessment for the community served…”
In 2015, USHHS issued Information Memorandum No. 138 establishing Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Organizational Standards, requiring CAAs to conduct a Community Needs Assessment and that they develop a Community Action Plan to address the needs identified in the needs assessment.