Federal reviewers visit Montgomery for CRS block grant, needs assessment review

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Children’s Rehabilitation Service presented its five-year needs assessment survey results at the annual block grant review held Aug. 14 at the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).

The needs assessment is conducted every five years by agencies that receive money through the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant. The survey helps state maternal and child health programs determine strengths, weaknesses, and priorities.

In Alabama, funding for the federal block grant is received by ADPH. ADPH uses the majority of the dollars to support maternal and child health initiatives in the state, while directing a portion of the funds to CRS, which administers the state’s program for children and youth with special health care needs (CYSHCN).

Every state undergoes an annual review of its block grant application, with this year’s review also including a report on the findings of the needs assessment. ADPH and CRS officials typically travel to Atlanta to meet with reviewers, but this year was unique in that the federal reviewers agreed to come to Montgomery.

“Having the review in our home state is a real treat,” said Lolita McLean, CRS Maternal and Child Health coordinator. “It is something that we’ve asked for repeatedly, and this year we are delighted to have had the federal review team visit us here.”

Following the review, Project Officer Morrissa Rice, Deborah Brower, and Lorine Jay with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Maternal and Child Health Bureau were given a tour of the Montgomery CRS clinic space by CRS Nurse Lisa Bachant.

“This year’s review went really well,” McLean said. “A lot of positive changes have resulted from data received from previous needs assessment surveys, like identifying the need for a parent consultant in each CRS office, a transition social worker specialist, and a statewide youth consultant. Our many improvements show in our report, and we are proud to have these federal employees visit us to see our many programs in action.”

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