Skip Navigation Links

 From the President

Systems of Care Development

By Stephanie Birch, RNC, MPH, MS, FNP 

With the advances in science, genetics, technology and medicine, increasing numbers of children are being identified and diagnosed with special conditions such as autism, genetic and metabolic conditions, developmental delays, chronic medical issues and other physical conditions. Diagnosis during the prenatal period of a variety of special health conditions is not uncommon as well. This poses major challenges to state Title V MCH and CYSCHN programs to develop systems of care to meet the complex health and culturally diverse social needs of women, infants, all children and adolescents. Developing and implementing systems of care has been the core work of state Title V MCH and CYSCHN programs. This work is a part of the legislative mandates of Section 501 of the Social Security Administration Act and the outcomes are reflected in states’ reporting of their national and state performance measures. 

Section 2951 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 created the landmark Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program and was designed to strengthen and improve systems of care for pregnant women, infants and young children. This legislation is focused on programs and activities implemented under the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant and are intended to provide and improve coordination of services for families who reside in at risk or high risk communities. Other funding streams such as those for expanded newborn metabolic screening and the Combating Autism Act also focus on developing systems of care. 

Systems of care development can be a lot of work! It requires partnership, consensus decision making, exquisite communication, program development, implementation and evaluation and data collection and analysis. State Maternal Child Health programs are well poised to lead this challenging and rewarding effort! In this edition of Pulse, you will have an opportunity to hear examples of the work done in states in support of systems of care as well as the technical assistance provided by AMCHP staff in support of states’ work.