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Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant: An Overview

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.

Title V is currently administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services agency 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

A description of HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau or HRSA's description of Title V.

State Requirements Under the MCH Block Grant Program

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 Children with Special Health Care Needs 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
  • 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