by Emily Blanchard
I have completed and presented the needs assessment for the LCCSO staff, and they have been given digital copies of the PowerPoint presentation and products 1 and 2 (the parent questionnaire and needs assessment, respectively). These items were developed with the help and cooperation of the Learning Community Center of South Omaha’s staff, management, and participants. It is my hope that the data presented will be used to add to their knowledge base of their family participants, as well as develop educational topics and programming.
Results from the needs assessment data showed that:
- The LCCSO navigators are viewed by the parent participants as trustworthy, nonjudgmental, and a valuable resource.
- There are parents receiving services at the LCCSO who have children with developmental disabilities and additional needs.
- The families enjoy the educational programming provided, and have ideas for additional topics.
- There are families not receiving the information they may need about early childhood development during their healthcare encounters.
The trust and confidence that the families have in the learning community center staff is tremendously high. Because of how positively they view the staff, the LCCSO will be able to develop and incorporate new and important education with success in their parent workshop topics and discussions. My suggestions for future development and research are based largely on parent responses, and include:
- Early signs and symptoms of developmental disabilities in children
- Successful, comfortable discussions of concerns about growth and development during pediatrics appointments and school visits
- Incorporating community resources in disseminating information regarding early childhood growth and development
- Navigating written and digital resources for parents
- Developing a source of trusted resources for parents regarding older children and teenagers
The strengths of the Learning Community Center of South Omaha include tremendous trust and confidence from parents participants, active community engagement, strong connections to other trusted community resources, and creative and dynamic interactions and educational opportunities. As they build upon these strengths, there is potential for further development of family programming that will help achieve the organizational goal of challenging the opportunity gap for their families.
I am thankful to the Learning Community Center of South Omaha for the opportunity to work with their staff and parents. This could have been a difficult project to pursue, but because the staff are so trusted and views so positively with the families they serve, I was able to have a connection to broach personal topics with parents in the interview setting. The staff were invaluable in encouraging parents to speak with me, amend the parent participants were extremely generous with their time and in sharing details of their lives. Additionally, I appreciate the staff taking every opportunity to involve me in activities and opportunities taking place at the center. I am looking forward to my remaining hours at the center during parenting workshops, as well as attending graduation at the end of the month!