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Needs assessment to guide future KFA investments

Sunflower Foundation is in the process of identifying a vendor to develop an innovative and comprehensive statewide needs assessment of substance use disorder (SUD) systems and related work in Kansas that will help guide the long-term priorities and investments of the Kansas Fights Addiction Grant Review Board.

KFA grant funds, which support organizations providing substance abuse and addiction services across Kansas, come from money recovered by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office through opioid legal settlements. The State of Kansas already has secured more than $340 million for the state over the next 18 years. Sunflower Foundation serves as the administrator of the KFA grant program. Through the grant program, the KFA board is striving to prevent, reduce, treat or mitigate the effects of substance abuse and addiction in Kansas.

The foundation is expected to name a vendor for the needs assessment work by Nov. 1. The selected vendor will conduct interviews and gather information through focus groups and surveys of various audiences across Kansas. The assessment will cover all population groups and disciplines across the full continuum of SUD-related care.

The primary goal of the needs assessment is to provide a comprehensive view of the state’s SUD system across the lifespan, including all sectors from early childhood and prevention through treatment and long-term recovery. The hope is that SUD funders in Kansas will be able to use the results of the needs assessment to create and implement new strategies for systems change that would lead to the reduction of substance use initiation and SUDs, save lives, and improve SUD systems of care across the state.

The selected vendor will partner with Sunflower Foundation, subcontractors, and third-party consultants to develop a needs assessment that:

  • Describes SUD programs and services available and needed across the state.
  • Identifies gaps and barriers and what must to be done to strengthen the state’s SUD system.
  • Identifies areas where existing efforts and current funds are not adequate to meet the need and/or desired outcomes.
  • Points to promising and effective strategies for navigating a comprehensive SUD system from prevention through recovery.
  • Highlights opportunities for innovation that will have a significant, long-term return on investment.
  • Recommends opportunities for system alignment to maximize the infrastructure, resources, and funding in the state.
  • Identifies where to invest for greater accessibility and availability.
  • Identifies what investments can be made to support and strengthen Kansas’ workforce in the SUD system, aid in eliminating stigma, and decrease navigation barriers for services across the lifespan.
  • Recommends practical, phased approaches to address gaps in services and achieve systemwide transformation with an eye on sustainability.

While the KFA board has access to a solid foundation of quality data and information that sheds light on many of the basic needs that exist across the Kansas SUD system – and has used it to jumpstart the first two rounds of KFA grant funding in 2023 – a more comprehensive, cross-systems needs assessment is necessary to provide new data and information to augment what is already known about SUD systems across the state.

For more information on the 2023 KFA Comprehensive Needs Assessment, contact Kansas Fights Addiction Program Manager Alyssa Nava at 785.232.3000 ext. 117.

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