PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) —The Department of Human Services Thursday released a new report on the state of maternal, child and family health.
DHS Secretary Teresa Miller said the Family Support Needs Assessment is a summary of data across six different domains to help determine where social services are most needed across the state.
"Part of our responsibility as administrators of this federal funding is the completion of a statewide family needs assessment every five years,” she said.
Dr. Meredith Matone, lead investigator of the assessment, said needs assessments are a foundational public health tool for understanding community level needs, strengths and service capacity.
"And Pennsylvania communities, what we found, are experiencing pronounced needs related to mental health, substance use, economic conditions and intimate partner violence,” Matone said.
Matone said while the state as a whole fared better than the rest of the country, in regards to a lower rate of preterm and teen births, Philadelphia County in particular reflected some of the greatest needs across the state.