Charged with primary responsibility for promoting and
improving the health of our Nation’s mothers and children, the Maternal
and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) draws upon nearly a century of commitment
and experience. Early efforts are rooted in the MCHB predecessor, the
Children’s Bureau, established in 1912. In 1935, Congress enacted
Title V of the Social Security Act, which authorized the Maternal and
Child Health Services Programs—providing a foundation and structure
for assuring the health of mothers and children for more than 70 years.
Today, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, as part of the Health Resources
and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
administers Title V.
The Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant includes State Formula Block Grants, Special Projects of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) grants and Community Integrated Service Systems (CISS) grants.
The largest portion of Title V goes to the States through a formula-based block grant process, which includes a matching funds requirement. (States match $3 in funds or resources for every $4 in Federal funds they receive.) This $5 billion Federal/State partnership develops service systems in our Nation’s communities to meet critical challenges in maternal and child health, including:
Activities supported under Special Projects of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) grants include MCH research, training, genetic services, hemophilia diagnostic and treatment centers, and maternal and child health improvement projects that support a broad range of innovative strategies. In FY 2006, the Bureau funded approximately 501 SPRANS grants at a total of $115.9 million.
In FY 2006, 64 Community Integrated Service Systems (CISS) grants were awarded, totaling $10.6 million. The CISS program seeks to improve the health of mothers and children by funding projects for the development and expansion of integrated health, education, and social services at the community level.
The Healthy Start program funds communities to eliminate the causes of infant mortality and low birth weight among their own residents. The initiative began in 1991 in 15 communities that had very high rates of infant mortality. In 2007, the number of official sites has grown to include 99 communities in 38 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
The Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program is a joint effort of MCHB and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to improve States’ EMS systems and to support research efforts focused on children’s emergencies.
The Traumatic Brain Injury Demonstration Grant Program (TBI) provides grants to States to implement systems that ensure access to comprehensive and coordinated TBI services. TBI also provides support for state protection and advocacy systems.
The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening program helps States implement universal newborn hearing screening prior to hospital discharge. For those infants identified with hearing loss, linkage to a medical home and diagnostic evaluation and enrollment in a program of early intervention by 6 months of age are provided.
The Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Demonstration Program provides grants to enhance the prevention and treatment of sickle cell disease. It is designed to improve and expand patient and provider education and the continuity and coordination of service delivery for individuals with sickle cell disease.
The Family-to-Family Health Information Centers provides grants to a family-run organization in each state and the District of Columbia to assist families of children with disabilities or special health needs to make informed decisions about health care in order to promote good treatment decisions, cost effectiveness, and improve health outcomes for such children.