Since 1935, Title V has promoted the nation's goals for healthy mothers and children. The MCH Block Grant Program provides funds to states for this purpose. It is currently administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services agency called the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and, in Massachusetts, by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The Title V Block Grant Program funds states through Formula Block Grants. The grants' purpose is the creation of Federal-State Partnerships to develop state and local systems to meet critical challenges facing women, children and families. The challenges Title V Federal-State Partnerships currently address include:
- significantly reducing infant mortality
- providing comprehensive care for women before, during, and after pregnancy and childbirth
- providing preventive and primary care services for children and adolescents
- providing comprehensive care for children and adolescents with special health care needs
- immunizing all children
- reducing adolescent pregnancy
- preventing injury and violence
- putting into community practice national standards and guidelines (for example, for prenatal care, healthy and safe child care, and health supervision of infants, children and adolescents)
- meeting the nutritional and developmental needs of mothers, children, and families
States prepare and transmit a standardized grant request based on the Block Grant Guidance, a comprehensive resource book of required application forms and submission guidelines. There are major requirements in the application, including a periodic Statewide needs assessment, a plan for meeting the needs identified by that assessment, and other specific items on which States must report.
The Title V Block Grant Program requires that every $4 of federal Title V money must be matched by at least $3 of State and local money. This "match" results in the availability of more than 2 billion additional dollars for MCH programs annually at the State and local level. The program also requires that a minimum of 30% of federal Block Grant funds be used to support services for CSHCN and that a minimum of 30% of federal funds be used to provide preventive and primary care services for children. The States may spend no more than 10% of federal Title V funds on administrative costs.
State MCH programs, usually housed in each State's department of health, meet their Title V Block Grant responsibilities through a wide range of programs, with specific goals for
- Reducing morbidity and mortality by assuring pregnant women, infants, children, and adolescents full access to quality, community-based preventive and primary care
- Developing family-centered, coordinated, community-based systems of care
- Participating in interagency coordination, especially with Medicaid; Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Supplemental Foods program; Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA); and other children's health, education, and social services programs
- Providing rehabilitative services to SSI recipients under age 16 who are not covered by Medicaid
- Linking Title V efforts to national year 2010 objectives
- Conducting comprehensive needs assessments every 5 years and preparing annual plans as part of a standardized application process
- Submitting to MCHB State annual reports reviewing program developments, health status and service data, and progress in meeting State and national health objectives