Maternal and Child Health (MCH)

Block Grant


Message from Dr. Michael Lu, Associate Administrator,
Maternal and Child Health Bureau, HRSA

Governor's Public Health Conference Keynote Address – April 30, 2014
Video Transcript


The Kansas Department of Health & Environment is responsible for administering the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant for the State of Kansas. The MCH Block Grant and affiliated programs are located within the Division of Public Health, Bureau of Family Health.

The Title V MCH Block Grant plays a key role in the provision of maternal and child health services in Kansas. Funds from this grant are distributed among a number of programs which target the improvement of the health of all women and infants, children and adolescents, and children with special health care needs.

As part of Kansas' Block Grant activity requirements, the Kansas Department of Health:

  1. Submits an Application/Annual Report for Federal funds to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) in the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Human and Health Services (HHS) which includes information related to activities and expenditures supported through this grant, progress made on performance measures, and plans for the coming year; and
  2. Conducts a statewide needs assessment every five years. The needs assessment provides direction and guidance to Title V activities for the next five years by identifying state maternal and child health priority issues and performance measures that measure state progress and accountability. Click here for a summary of the state's current goals and priorities.

MCH Block Grant Basics


Enacted in 1935 as a part of the Social Security Act, the Title V Maternal and Child Health Program is the Nation’s oldest Federal-State partnership. Specifically, the Title V Maternal and Child Health program seeks to:

  1. Assure access to quality care, especially for those with low-incomes or limited availability of care;
  2. Reduce infant mortality;
  3. Provide and ensure access to comprehensive prenatal and postnatal care to women (especially low-income and at risk pregnant women);
  4. Increase the number of children receiving health assessments and follow-up diagnostic and treatment services;
  5. Provide and ensure access to preventive and child care services as well as rehabilitative services for certain children;
  6. Implement family-centered, community-based, systems of coordinated care for children with special healthcare needs; and
  7. Provide toll-free hotlines and assistance in applying for services to pregnant women with infants and children who are eligible for Title XIX (Medicaid).

Unique in its design and scope, the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant to States program:

  1. Focuses exclusively on the entire maternal and child health population;
  2. Encompasses infrastructure, population-based, enabling, and direct services for the maternal and child health population;
  3. Requires a unique partnership arrangement between Federal, State and local entities;
  4. Requires each State to work collaboratively with other organizations to conduct a State-wide, comprehensive Needs Assessment every 5 years;
  5. Based on the findings of the Needs Assessment, requires each State to identify State priorities to comprehensively address the needs of the MCH population and guide the use of the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant funds; and
  6. May serve as the payer of last resort for direct services for the maternal and child health population that are not covered by any other program.

Each year in July, Kansas submits the annual MCH Block Grant Application and Report to MCHB. The application/report describes activities completed in the past and current year and outlines activities planned for the coming year.
Every five years, the Department conducts a comprehensive needs assessment to determine gaps in health status and health system capacity in serving the MCH population. The “Five-Year Needs Assessment” includes research and identification of priorities for the statewide Title V programs to address over the subsequent five-year period. The assessment includes analysis of public health and other data, surveys of state and local stakeholders and assessment of the state’s system to deliver interventions and programs most effective for the priorities. State performance measures are the indicators used to monitor Title V program progress. Individual State allocations are determined by a formula which takes into consideration the number of children living in poverty in a State as compared to the total number of children living in poverty in the United States.
 There are strict requirements concerning how funds are spent.

  • At least thirty percent (30%) must be used for preventive and primary care services for children
  • At least thirty percent (30%) must be spent for services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN). Funds are to be spent on:
    • services described as "family-centered, community-based, coordinated care (including care coordination services) and
    • to facilitate the development of community-based systems of services for such children and their families
  • Not more than ten percent (10%) may be used for administering the funds paid under this section.
  • Funding is also to be spent on preventive and primary care services for pregnant women, mothers and infants up to age one. However, there are no requirements regarding percentage to be spent.

Public Input


An important component of the MCH Block Grant process is solicitation of public input. Public input can be provided at any point throughout the year via this survey.

Submit a question about the MCH Block Grant Program


MCH Block Grant Reports and Publications


Most Recent Block Grant Application/Annual Report and Needs Assessment

Kansas MCH Block Grant Resources

Archived Block Grant Reports/Applications

Block Grant Data from Kansas and Other States

To view narrative reports and forms for the Kansas application/annual report, as well as compare how Kansas is doing in relation to other states, visit the Title V Information System (TVIS) website.