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Program Assessment


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Maternal and Child Health Block Grant

The mission of the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant is to improve the health of all mothers and children. By providing grants to States this program aims to reduce health disparities, increase access to health care, and improve the quality of health care.


What This Rating Means


This is the highest rating a program can achieve. Programs rated Effective set ambitious goals, achieve results, are well-managed and improve efficiency.
  • The program has had a positive impact. It has contributed to reductions in the infant mortality rate (from 9.2/1000 live births in 1990 to 6.9/1000 in 2005) and to increases in the percentage of pregnant women who receive prenatal care in the first trimester (from 75.8% in 1990 to 83.9% in 2005). Work is needed to determine what actions are required to improve percent of low birth weight births.
  • The program has strong and effective collaborations with other entities concerned with maternal and child health. The program collaborates with a wide range of Federal, State local, and private-sector partners. Needs and priorities are identified, resources are leveraged, and linkages are forged to help the maternal and child health population receive needed coordinated care and support services.
  • The program has shown improvements in the scope and quality of evaluations. Numerous independent and high quality evaluations and reviews of the MCH Block Grant have been conducted in recent years, including both outcome and process assessments. Whereas earlier evaluations were primarily single-state or single-topic focused, recent efforts have been more comprehensive.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Developing a program performance measure targeting the ratio of racial and ethnic disparities in low birth weight infants.
  • Promoting evidence-based practices to reduce the incidence (and better understand the causes) of low birth weight.
  • Conducting a technical review and evaluation of the States' Title V Maternal and Child Health priority needs, State performance measures, and promising practices.

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