Maternal and Child Health Block Grant

The Maternal and Child Health Block Grant program is one of the oldest Federal-State partnership programs that has more than 75 years of history. The program was initially named the Title V Maternal and Child Health Program, and it changed its name into the current name in 1981.

The grant itself was a solution proposed to solve public programs that are fragmented. This makes the MCHB grant is far different compared to the fragmented programs like Medicaid. MCHB grant system is established based on broad categories.


Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Project

The congress agreed and gathered around 50 federal aid programs, which are divided into 9 block grants. With these grants, the states have more control and flexibility in managing the federal funds. Therefore, when it comes to the maternal and child health block grant, each state may have different interpretation, focus, and programs.

In general, the MCHB grant program itself is considered successful; especially in the area where the states are able to manage its own local program. The long history of the program has contributed to the increase of wellness for United States’ mothers, women, children and youth. Around 5 years ago, the MCHB grant program served almost 40 million people, and a large portion of it is consisted of infants, children, pregnant women, and children with special health care needs.

Currently the block grant program is divided into several projects, which include:

  • Special Projects of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) that focuses on newborn screening, treatments for some diseases, research and trainings
  • State Formula Block Grants which can be used for various smaller projects related to the maternal and child welfare
  • Community Integrated Service Systems (CISS) that focuses on the improvement of community service systems for mothers and children

Just to be clear, it is important to note that the grant is not available for individuals or non-profit organization. The maternal and child health block grant is only available for the state government, and the state government is responsible in managing the available fund. Usually the agencies that manage the fund would be the State’s Maternal and Child Health agencies, under the State Health Department. These agencies will submit the application to the Federal government, along with preparing annual report and five-yearly assessment.

That said, as we have mentioned above, the policy of each state may differ from one another. Your state may provide a part of the grant for funding projects from non-profit organization with 501C3 status or individuals that are related to women and children health. The projects may focus on efforts to reduce infant mortality, provide comprehensive prenatal and postnatal care access, provide access to preventive care, improve the care for children with special health care needs, etc.

To know whether your state support this kind of projects, make sure you contact your State’s Department of Health’s Maternal and Child Health agency. In conclusion, the Maternal and Child Health Block grant is a great federal program that is managed by the State for the best interest of women and children. We hope this post can give you decent information on what you’re looking for.

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