Community Assessment

Reporting Community Resources and Strengths

a toddler girl smiles over adult's shoulder

The community assessment must include data on community strengths, as well as resources available in the community to address the needs of eligible children and their families. To adequately detail the availability of programs for Head Start families, the community assessment report should start by providing a list of all the agencies and organizations that serve low-income families and children, with a brief description of what they do (as might appear in a directory that you distribute to parents).

Beyond this, however, the community assessment is expected to go further by discussing which agencies are currently providing needed services. If available, it provides data on how many Head Start-eligible families these programs and agencies are serving, their capacity for expanding services, whether they are a Head Start partner, their fee structure, the availability of interpreters, and other similar data necessary for assessing available resources. You can also identify the gaps in services, where community resources for low-income populations are sparse or non-existent. Providing this information in the form of charts enables readers to make easy comparisons across agencies and organizations.