The Family Care Network (FCN) at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA is funded by Ryan White Part D to provide primary care and support services to women, infants, children, and youth (WICY) living with HIV. In 2019, FCN contracted with Facente Consulting to conduct a needs assessment to better understand how best to meet the needs of WICY who use FCN services, including trans women and trans youth. The assessment explored client needs using a whole-health (not just HIV-focused) approach, recognizing that physical, social, emotional, and spiritual health are all important. Facente Consulting used a mixed-methods approach to get client and service provider input, including: (1) a quantitative client self-administered survey on clients’ medical, social, emotional, and personal needs, (2) semi-structured client focus groups and one-on-one interviews regarding their experiences with services and gaps in care, and (3) semi-structured focus group and one-on-one meetings with FCN providers on their perceptions of client needs.
The final report distilled and synthesized the data into eight key needs, including personal and spiritual well-being, social connectedness, an end to HIV-related stigma, and skilled and culturally humble service providers. By taking a whole-person approach to the assessment, Facente Consulting was able to show that clients’ needs and desires go beyond the boundaries of what is traditionally considered HIV care. The detailed description of each need was accompanied by actionable recommendations, which the FCN has been able to use to improve services and inform future grant applications.