TAVARES — The Lake County social services needs assessment being conducted by the University of Central Florida's Center for Community Partnerships (CCP) will continue on Wednesday, Aug. 15, and Thursday, Aug. 16, with three focus-group meetings.
The first focus group, pertaining to elder and aging issues, was conducted on July 19 with more than 40 people in attendance. Three additional focus groups will take place at the Lake County Agricultural Center, located at 1951 Woodlea Road in Tavares, and are scheduled for:
• Children & families —Wednesday, Aug. 15, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
• Human services, housing & social services — Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2 to 4 p.m.
• Health-related issues — Thursday, Aug. 16, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Local agencies and programs that provide services related to these topics are encouraged to attend the appropriate focus meeting. For more information about these focus groups or to reserve a seat, call Brenda Quattlebaum at (352) 742-6503 or e-mail email@example.com.
Robbie Hollenbeck, Director of Citizen Support Services for the Lake County Department of Community Services, is coordinating the needs assessment for the County.
"What this assessment will try to do is identify the current social services as they exist in Lake County across four categories: elder services, children and family services, health related services and other social services," Hollenbeck said. "The social services we are trying to assess are countywide, including state, county and municipal governments, individual agencies and not-for-profit organizations."
By determining the level of services currently available, the Department of Community Services will be able to identify what social services gaps exist today and be better able to predict what future concerns may also exist. According to the scope of work, the CCP will create a report that identifies the current demographic pattern and the current pattern of services in the community — linked with location — and providers' information about additional needs. This report will help the Department of Community Services and social services organizations strategically plan for the future needs of the community as effectively as possible.