Maternal & Child Health Bureau

At the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, we—in partnership with key stakeholders—promote and help improve the physical and mental health, safety, and well-being of the nation’s women, children and adolescents, including those with special health care needs, and families, serving approximately 42 million through Title V.

Our commitment aligns with the broader goals of HRSA:

Expanding access iconIncrease access to quality health care and services

  • More than half of pregnant women and more than a third of infants and children benefit from Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grants program.
  • The Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program addresses the unique issues around pediatrics into the overall emergency care system.

Strengthen healthcare workforce iconStrengthen the health workforce

  • The Division of MCH Workforce Development awards grants that develop trainees for leadership roles in the areas of teaching, research, clinical practice, public health administration and policy making, and community-based programs.

Building health communities iconBuild healthy communities

  • Improve perinatal health outcomes and reduce racial and ethnic disparities by using community-based service delivery and facilitating access to comprehensive health and social services for women, infants and their families through the Healthy Start Program.

Improve health equity iconImprove health equity

  • The Home Visiting Program serves approximately  40% of counties in the country with high rates of the following indicators:
    • low birth weight,
    • teen birth rate,
    • living in poverty, and
    • infant mortality rates.  
  • The MCH Research Program supports research that addresses the needs of underserved populations, including families and children:
    • living in poverty,
    • in rural and urban areas,
    • from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds,
    • with special health care needs, or
    • at high risk of poor developmental outcomes.

Strengthen program operations iconStrengthen program operations

  • MCHB, engaging its stakeholders at all levels, transformed the Title V Block Grant to reduce state burden, maintain flexibility and improve accountability.

Our Areas of Expertise

MCHB addresses the needs of women, children and families across the lifespan. When a woman is of child-bearing age; when she is pregnant; when a child is born; if the child has special health care needs, as any child grows – MCHB-funded programs, research, and other efforts seek to ensure proper health and well-being.

States and jurisdictions receive these funds by way of the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, which is further strengthened by discretionary grants in areas such as research, workforce development, newborn screening, hemophilia, oral health, epilepsy, heritable disorders, mental health, MCH improvement programs and Community Integrated Services Systems.  

Along with partners from other federal agencies, states and communities, MCHB’s divisions and offices collaborate to support our overall mission. To ensure optimal health and development across the lifespan of the MCH population, our work:

  • focuses on persistent health disparities,
  • assures health equity, and
  • addresses social causes of health outcomes.

Last Reviewed: March 2016

Our History

In 1912, the federal commitment to addressing maternal and child health was made with the establishment of the Children’s Bureau, and again in 1935, when Title V of the Social Security Act was enacted. 

Discover the history of maternal and child health via our interactive timeline.