It identifies three priorities in Frederick County.
Frederick, Md (KM). The 2018 Human Needs Assessment was released on Wednesday. The report assesses current human needs in the community, and lists three priorities that need attention in Frederick County. They are: the growing senior citizen population; the struggles of families with children; and substance abuse disorder.
“In 2020, we will have more people over the age of 65 in Frederick County than we will have students in Frederick County Public Schools,” says Betsy Day, the President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Frederick County. “What this means is that we need to be paying attention to our growing aging community.”
Day says that includes providing enrichment activities in the community for those seniors who want to remain active, and making it easier for older seniors to age in place.
Another concern listed in the Human Needs Assessment is the struggle faced by families with children. “Many times we need two people in the family to work. And we’re also finding that child care is an expense that’s more of a burden to families than we ever thought before,” Days.
She notes that child care is more than just babysitting. “Affording child care is one thing, but also affording quality child care to make sure our youngsters are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten is extremely important,” she says.
Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor has called for establishing a reserve fund dealing with child care affordability in his fiscal year 2020 budget introduced last week.
Another priority raised in the Human Needs Assessment is substance use disorders.. Day says alcohol takes an even bigger toll on individuals and families that opioids.”Alcohol causes more family dysfunction, medical expense through the emergency department, and other health care. It causes more chronic illness and more debilitating diseases,” she says.
Other areas of concern listed in the Human Needs Assessment are affordable housing, transportation and diversity and inclusion.
Day says the data in this assessment will be put to good use. “We will developing some funding streams to address substance use disorder, aging and supporting families with children,” she says.
The Community Foundation will be doing some fundraising to help address these needs and other priorities in the future, Day says.
By Kevin McManus