© 2017 Family Services Grant County

Call Us: (509) 766-9877  /   1402 E. Craig  Moses Lake, WA 98837

ABOUT GRANT COUNTY
 
Family Services of Grant County is located on the Columbia Basin Plateau in the center of Washington State. Grant County covers 2,675 square miles and has a population of 80,698.

 

It is an arid region with moderate winters and dry, hot summers. Grant is the fourth largest county, in land area, in the state, with large areas of sagebrush-covered hills and desert.

 

In the early 1930s the desert was turned into prime agricultural property through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Columbia Basin Irrigation Project. The economy is primarily based on diversified agriculture, a public service sector, manufacturing, and hydroelectric generation projects. Apple orchards, potatoes and other food crops are the primary source of economic growth.

Grant County Demographics

Every five years a Community Needs Assessment is developed based upon County demographics, parent surveys, and interviews with schools and service providers. The following needs have been identified from the assessment completed in October of 2016.

 

County-wide need for birth to five educational services

  • 21% of Grant County's children are living in poverty.  Grant County ranks third in the State for eligibility for the free and reduced school lunch program.

  • Grant County has the fifth highest birth rate in the State. 

  • Grant County has the second highest teenage birth rate in the State.

  • Grant County ranks second in the state for adult age violent crime and second in the state for domestic violence offenses (Risk and Protection Profile for Substance Abuse Prevention in Washington State).

 

More educational programs are needed for monolingual Spanish speaking children

  • The Hispanic farm worker population is growing, especially in the Southern part of the County. As families settle out in communities and quit following the work, they do not qualify for Migrant Head Start programs. Low wages and seasonal work do make them eligible for regular Head Start. Head Start services are available only in the central and northern part of the County. (County Demographics)

Educational needs are high for parents and children

  • Grant County has a high rate of school drop-outs. Approximately 50% of Head Start parents have a high school degree or less. 

  • Although the Creative Curriculum Teaching Strategies Gold reports children making progress toward math goals while in the program, math instruction is still the highest need of the average child exiting from the program into kindergarten. (Outcomes Report 2016/17)

 

AND Employment is competing with education and winning

  •  Over 75% of the parents we serve are not in job training or school. Parents are not completing their education even though there are still affordable or no cost opportunities to do so in the community.

  • Key informants are saying that parents must choose work over education in order to survive. If they do attend college, it is questionable whether a degree or certification will actually enhance their earning power considering available wages in Grant County. (PIR, County Demographics & Interviews)

 

Number of children with special needs are increasing, services are decreasing

  • Among the three school districts currently served by Head Start, three provide special needs pre-school. All offer birth to three services but with the number of special needs children increasing, limited services are unable to meet the needs. (Interviews & Demographics)

  • Mental Health services for the birth to five population are very limited. Currently all psychological evaluations must be completed out of County for the local mental health provider. (Interviews)

  • School districts in Grant County no longer are able to provide classroom aides for Head Start children who need assistance to be part of an inclusive pre-school setting.

  • There is concern among key community members that within a few years the needs of children exposed to toxic chemicals during the production of meth amphetamine will severely tax community resources for children with special needs. (Interviews)

 

Future access to medical services for low- income families is in jeopardy

  • The medical provider base is currently stable but there is concern that State mandated co-pays for children on Medicaid will create loss of preventative services for children. (County Demographics)

  • Adults without insurance and who do not qualify for Medicaid already have a difficult time finding medical and especially dental providers. Most monolingual families do not qualify for medical assistance. (Interviews)