Achieving Diverse Program, Policy, and Systems Goals Through Needs Assessment




Amanda Innes, Catherine Lenihan, and Rebecca Dunn

Brief Type




The statutory Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) requirements for needs assessment present a unique opportunity for states and localities to consider how home visiting fits within early childhood systems of care, and how the requirements develop strategies and relationships to strengthen services across those systems. Needs assessment coordination provides an opportunity to jointly identify risks to the wellbeing of pregnant women and families with young children. Coordination also defines unmet needs and gaps in care, and develops the case for innovative and unified early childhood systems efforts and program change. The goal of this session is to facilitate the exchange of ideas and strategies across home visiting stakeholders to strengthen coordinated efforts and potentially expand opportunities to leverage needs assessment processes and findings. This session will clarify the MIECHV needs assessment update requirements, especially those related to collaboration, by describing efforts of coordinating agencies at the federal and state levels that support families with young children. This session will also engage participants to share goals and strategies for how to leverage the requirements to support state and local systems-building. Presentations from two state MIECHV awardees who are currently working with state and local partners to conduct the MIECHV needs assessment update will be included. This presentation will engage diverse home visiting stakeholders in dialogues about opportunities to leverage MIECHV needs assessments processes, and about recent findings to build and enhance collaboration with partners at federal, state and local levels. This session will also introduce field-tested strategies about implementing needs assessment activities and utilizing findings to achieve diverse goals for home visiting stakeholders represented across the field, including those held by program leaders, policymakers, researchers, foundations, and other partners. With a shared understanding of potential leverage points, participants will be better equipped to ensure needs assessments respond to diverse goals and maximize opportunities available within the current MIECHV authorization. (author abstract)

Data Collection Methods



For More Information

Innes, A., Lenihan, C., & Dunn, R. (2020, January 30). Achieving diverse program, policy, and systems goals through needs assessment. National Home Visiting Summit. Presentation conducted at the conference of The Ounce, Washington, DC.
Link to Presentation


  • Collaboration and Coordination