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Standards Resource Directory




Developing a strong and healthy community by working collaboratively with various stakeholders and supporting families' civic engagement, leadership development, and ability to affect systems change.                         

Free Resources

Online Resources

Community Health Assessment discusses principles, processes, and guide to assessing and addressing community health needs. Developed by: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Assessing Community Needs and Resources identifies and assesses community concerns, needs, and assets. Developed by: Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. 

Community Needs Assessment Resource Guide is a process conducted by all Community Action Agencies every three years to determine the underlying causes and conditions of poverty within the community they serve and identify the available resources to address the unmet needs of the community’s most vulnerable residents. The Community Needs Assessment is the first phase of the Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) Cycle, grounding and guiding the work to develop and implement programs and services that lift families and communities out of poverty. The execution of a regular Community Needs Assessment is a requirement for all CSBG Eligible Entities, and one of the nine category’s (Category 3) of the Organizational Standards. To assist with this critical activity, the resources shared below have been curated to provide Community Action Agencies with comprehensive information and easy-to-use tools for each step of the Community Needs Assessment. Developed by: National Community Action Partnership.

Supportive Communities, Resilient Families, Thriving Children - Indiana’s Framework for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect provides a road map for the state and local communities to better support, empower, and protect families. It is centered on primary prevention efforts, or services and interventions available to the general population, to prevent child maltreatment before it happens. Developed by: Indiana's Supportive Communities, Resilient Families, Thriving Children.

Positive Experiences shows the impact of positive childhood experiences over the lifespan. HOPE is a new way of seeing and talking about experiences that support children’s growth and development into healthy, resilient adults. Developed by: HOPE - Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences

Social Connections & Social Capital: Opportunities, Challenges, and Barriers 

Developed by: Wisconsin Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Board

Community Toolbox is designed for taking action, teaching, and training others in organizing for community development. Dive in to find help assessing community needs and resources, addressing social determinants of health, engaging stakeholders, action planning, building leadership, improving cultural competency, planning an evaluation, and sustaining your efforts over time. Developed by: Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas.

Community Mapping: Early Relational Health Tool allows community leaders to reflect on the ways in which their community currently supports and promotes the development of ERH and identify action steps to improve and expand upon those efforts. Developed by: Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Families Leading Change in Early Childhood Systems toolkit is designed to inspire, challenge, and support leaders in early childhood to embrace a vision of families as agents of change in their children’s lives, communities, and early childhood systems. Developed by: Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Partnering with Affordable Housing and Community Development summarizes projects carried out by early childhood leaders in four communities across the country at the intersection of community and child development, including the adaptations they had to make when the COVID-19 crisis began. This resource also shares lessons learned and recommendations to guide others who are looking for ways to improve outcomes for young children and their families by partnering across these two fields. Developed by: Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Community Conditions that Strengthen Families report summarizes survey findings from organizational partners and members of the Strengthening Families National Network interested in using the Protective Factors Framework in their community-level approach and their viewpoints on community conditions that support child and family outcomes. Developed by Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Building Effective Parent/Practitioner Collaboration GuideDeveloped by: FRIENDS - National Center for Community-Based Prevention.

Elevating Family Voice is a parent and practitioner newsletter in English and Spanish. Developed by: FRIENDS. 

Books & Articles

A Guide to Assessing Needs toolkit for collecting information, making decisions, and achieving development results. Written by: Ryan Watkins, Maurya West Meiers, Yusra Laila Visser. 

System Transformation through Community Leadership is about strategies for building effective partnerships with Black and Brown communities. Written by: Chapin Hall.


Mandated Reporting Issue Brief of Child Abuse and Neglect. Developed by: Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Podcast: The New Neighborhood is a limited series podcast that explores some of the dramatic changes taking place across the country as people work to reinforce a sense of community, support young children and families, and work to build equity within communities. Each episode features emerging innovations that will create a society where all children and their families can thrive. Developed by: Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Resources for Purchase


Bridges Out of Poverty curriculum kit will serve to deepen and apply the learnings presented by Dr. Donna M. Beegle. The 7-video segments, along with the companion materials (participant guide and facilitator’s guide), are designed to assist individuals and organizations to go beyond addressing immediate needs (e.g., providing food boxes, temporary shelter, financial assistance with rent and utilities) to a more systemic approach for helping our Neighbors to move out and stay out of the crisis of poverty. This kit includes 1 facilitator guide and 10 participant guides. Developed by: Communication Across Barriers.

Foundations of Community Engagement build a foundation of knowledge and practice for community engagement work. Online videos and coursework over the course of 5-10 hours. Topics such as Role of Community, How to Engage, Who to Engage, Overcoming Challenges, and Evaluating Engagement are covered. Developed by: Tamarack Institute.

Books & Articles

Just Schools: Building Equitable Collaboration with Families and Communities examines the challenges and possibilities for building more equitable forms of collaboration among nondominant families, communities, and schools. The text explores how equitable collaboration entails ongoing processes that begin with families and communities, transform power, build reciprocity and agency, and foster collective capacity through collective inquiry. These processes offer promising possibilities for improving student learning, transforming educational systems, and developing robust partnerships that build on the resources, expertise, and cultural practices of non-dominant families. Written by: Ann Ishimaru.

Bridges Out of Poverty takes the concepts of hidden rules of economic class and uses them to educate social workers, employers and community organizations about hte unique and sometimes hidden obstacles that individuals from poverty face. Strategies help improve services for clients, raise retention rates for new hires from poverty, and increase understanding of the differences in economic cultures and how those differences affect opportunities for success. Written by: Ruby K. Payn.

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