Needs Assessment of a Faith Community
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
Needs Assessment of a Faith Community
Nancy Elliot, an FCN at Living Hope Baptist Church, just completed a needs assessment of her faith community of 200 families. Nancy is new to the faith community nursing role, having recently been hired.
Living Hope, considered a moderate-sized church, is located in a rural community of 40,000. Nancy decided to perform the needs assessment of the congregation and community before planning programs and services for the faith community.
The community has one hospital and a variety of voluntary and official community agencies. Many private practitioners are available, either in the town or within a 1-hour drive in a larger city. Recently the town was awarded a grant to develop community parks and recreational facilities.
Nancy is surprised by the demographic picture she finds after completing an assessment. Young families with toddlers to young school-age children comprise more than 70% of the congregation. She notes that these families are in the childbearing developmental stage of family growth and development.
The remaining 30% of the members are elders, more than half of whom are 80 years or older. The survey indicates that the members are most interested in health screening and educational opportunities presented at the church. Only 3% of the members reported having no health insurance.
A discussion with the minister provides additional information. Two new industries have recently relocated to the area. The parent home of both of these industries was formerly located in distant states. Many new members have relocated to the area. Nancy understands that these young families may have decreased family and social support and little knowledge of existing community resources.
The minister also informs her that the current church ministries focus on the elderly members and that new services are needed. Nancy schedules a meeting with the young parents after a church social gathering. Fifty mothers and fathers attend the session to discuss the health-related needs of the families. They identify that a “mothers’ day out” program is a priority and also request information on community resources, parenting classes, and health and wellness programs for the children and parents. On the basis of the needs assessment and sessions with the parents, the FCN determines the following goals, nursing diagnoses, and population-focused nursing interventions.
- Readiness for health promotion, as evidenced by requests for health information related to parenting, health, and wellness
- Potential for parent support, as evidenced by developmental stage of families, requests for education, and presence of new community members with limited knowledge of community resources
- Potential for community building, as evidenced by individual concerns related to limited social support and lack of social networks
- Potential need for family support, related to recent relocation to new community and lack of social network
Community (Faith Community)
- At risk for community (congregation) disorganization, related to recent change in membership demographics, lack of developed resources, and new or developing faith community nursing role
A plan of care is developed to address the needs of the individuals, families, and the Living Hope faith community. Goals suggested by the FCN are mutually agreed upon by the ministerial team and congregational members.
- Monthly educational programs will be offered addressing current issues in parenting and health and wellness of young families.
- Congregation will establish a social network for young parents.
- Ministerial leaders will dedicate funds to increase resources for children and young adults.
- Establish parent steering committee for educational program ideas, identification of parent talents (assist with education programs).
- Explore development of mothers’ day out program.
- Parent members will report increased social networks.
- Parent members will identify adequate resources to support growing family.
- Identify community and congregation support for new and growing families.
Community (Faith Community)
- Programs will be established to support growing families.
- Implement one new program (educational, social) or resource for families each quarter of the church year.
Nancy utilized diverse interventions to meet the goals established for families of Living Hope.
Nancy asked the parents to complete a talent survey to identify the resources available within the families of Living Hope. From this survey, Nancy identified two RNs willing to help provide educational programs and three previously certified early childhood teachers. The teachers were willing to develop a committee to explore the development of a mothers’ day out program, a playgroup, and a new parent support group.
Additional members were willing to begin a ministry to provide meals to new parents. Community resources were identified at the local health department to help teach parenting classes and provide immunizations. A plan was established to begin the mothers’ day out program part-time within 2 months. The playgroup and educational programs were implemented immediately.
The ministerial team and a parent advisory group were formed to identify family needs. Family social events were planned, including a church picnic. Planning was made for age-appropriate activities, such as the development of a soccer team for the youth, a softball team for the young adults, and a literary club for those interested.
The advisory committee developed a budget to submit to the ministerial team, requesting financial support to develop a playground for the children attending the mothers’ day out program and the hiring of a part-time employee to supervise the related activities. The families reported greater feelings of support from the faith community, increased social support and networks, and a feeling of belonging to the greater community.
Community (Faith Community)
The faith community developed a budget to support individual and family requests. Monthly health education programs became the standard, with topics noted on the monthly calendar.
Members reported increased feelings of “community” not only among the young families but also across generational lines, as new members increasingly participated in leadership roles within the congregation. The minister documented an increase in weekly attendance, which had a positive impact on the long-range goals identified by the congregational members.
Individual and Family
Attendance at the health and wellness and parenting sessions increased with each educational session offered. Initial attendance was 5 to 7 people for each session, and after 6 months, the average attendance was 15 to 20 people for each session. The request from attendees changed from offering additional educational sessions to planning intervention programs such as a yoga class and a weight reduction program.
The playground was completed in less than the planned time because of the increased budget. The mothers’ day out program, which began as a part-time, 3-day-per-week program, grew to a Monday-through-Friday program within 12 months. The program became self-sufficient by the end of the year because of established fees, parent volunteers, and donations. Men and women verbalized an increased satisfaction with their spiritual growth and support from the faith community. Nancy developed a health ministry committee of volunteers from within the church and was able to increase the number and variety of related parish nurse activities.
Community (Faith Community)
The health and wellness activities attracted the attention of sister churches, and a grant was offered to increase the number of family support services and wellness programs offered within the church. Health and wellness programs were expanded to include additional methods for reaching congregational members, such as through a website.
The greater attendance and participation of congregational members positively affected all members, who benefited from the leadership and positive environment. The educational offerings and intervention programs were developed on the basis of Healthy People 2020 goals, in particular, increasing activity and exercise, healthy eating, and obesity prevention (DHHS, 2010).
Levels of Prevention
The roles of the FCN direct the interventions and programs planned for faith communities. The following are examples of all three levels of prevention applied to this case study.
- Assessment and teaching about parenting, health, and wellness
- Development of programs and social support systems to prevent social isolation and increase resources for successful parenting and healthy behaviors
- FCN assessment and screening to identify individuals and families at risk
- Congregational resources and educational programs developed to meet individual and family needs
- FCN either provides or refers to resources for rehabilitation for families coping with children with disabilities or chronic health problems (parents and children).
Speak with a minister, priest, rabbi, or church leader in the community from a faith belief system different from your own. Explore the philosophical basis for the church’s role in health and healing.
Visit websites devoted to faith community nursing and identify the models of faith community nursing programs or read the descriptions of their practice. Share these with the clinical group.
During a meeting of the health ministry committee, the FCN nurse learned that Mrs. James, a church member, had been diagnosed with end-stage breast cancer.
Mrs. James is a 45-year-old wife and mother of two school-age children. She returned home after surgery and had to decide whether to seek further treatment within the following weeks. Her husband attended church with his family although he was a member of another faith community. A home health nurse was involved with Mrs. James’s postoperative care, and it was possible that a referral to hospice would occur after her decisions regarding further treatment.
The nurse called Mrs. James and offered to make a home visit to assess how the FCN and church community could support and care for the family’s well-being. Mrs. James welcomed the visit. Showing respect for their faith beliefs, the nurse offered prayer and waited for a request from the couple.
The nurse’s instincts and experience in working with patients with cancer and their families guided her in using listening as a nursing intervention during this initial visit and in using caution when Mrs. James asked for guidance in making treatment decisions.
The nurse further explored the home situation, the needed educational support, and the physician’s prognosis and treatment options with the patient. Emotional support was important for Mrs. James, and the FCN offered support through touch and words of concern. This model helped develop an initial nurse–client relationship of trust and open communication.
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Needs Assessment of a Faith Community
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