Richmond Latino Needs Assessment: A Community-University Partnership to Identify Health Concerns and Service Needs for Latino Youth
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The presence of Latinos in Virginia is a new phenomenon and as a result, less is known about the health needs of these newest community members. We formed a community-university partnership to identify health concerns and service needs as they relate to Latino youth living in Richmond, Virginia and the surrounding area. Using a mixed-method approach, survey data was obtained from 212 Latino adults, qualitative interviews were conducted with 15 community leaders and focus groups with 23 Latino parents (16 mothers, 7 fathers) and 6 Latino boys. Participants expressed concern about sexually transmitted infections/pregnancy among youth (76%), youth behavior problems at home/school (75%), and mental health problems (75%). Participants also expressed worry that youth would lose their connection to their Latin culture (83%). Qualitative data provided more information regarding these concerns by linking them with inter-ethnic tensions, and immigration and acculturation-related stressors. Survey participants also indicated a need for bilingual mental health services (88%) and after-school programs for youth (94%). This study provided the local community with information on the health concerns and service needs of a new group of community youth—Latino youth. Findings were presented to local community and City organizations that used the information to respond to the identified needs and/or concerns. The process in which the data was obtained may prove useful to other individuals interested in obtaining local level health information in emerging communities.
KeywordsLatino Needs assessment Risk behavior Adolescent Community health
This study was supported by grants from the Virginia Governor’s Office for Substance Abuse and Prevention (Dr. Corona) and VCU Center for the Study and Prevention of Youth Violence supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Dr. Cohen). We would like to thank the community organizations that provided support for El Papucho Latino and the community members who helped make the event a success. We are grateful to the graduate students, community members, and Hispanic Liaison Office staff who volunteered their time in helping collects and analyze the data. We would also like to thank the people who participated in this project.
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