Exploring the needs of families with children ages 6 -18 years old receiving services from the Vacaville Family Resource Center: Latino population perspectives

This study aims to explore and better understand the needs of the Latino families with school age children (6 to 18 years old) and who have utilized the services of the Vacaville Family Resource Center (VFRC). The Latino community represents 24% of the population in the City of Vacaville and they represent almost 50% of service recipients at the VFRC. An assessment of their needs would facilitate the development of services that build upon community strengths and needs. A total of 229 VFRC service recipients, with 198 identifying as Latino, completed a one-page assessment questionnaire when they visited VFRC. The survey covered health, economic, psychological, and social needs. Vast majority of respondents answered questionnaire in Spanish. Study findings support author’s hypothesis that Latino families have a need for mental health services. Participants also confirmed that financial stability is a major need among this population. Majority of the Latino respondents live in a double parent home, and their children are doing academically well. However, they expressed the needs for utility assistance, academic tutoring, and adult English classes in the near future. Qualitative findings show that VFRC is their agency of choice for the needed educational support, financial v assistance, and family support services. Overall study findings reflect respondents’ needs for culturally appropriate and comprehensive services delivered by a trusted and culturally competent organization. A one-stop multilevel service center that serves, promotes, and advocates on behalf of the clients is recommended. The VFRC has the potential to become this hub center, as it is already the service and cultural broker for Latinos in Vacaville.