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 About Title V

Since its inception, the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant (Title V of the Social Security Act) has provided a foundation for ensuring the health of our Nation’s mothers and children.

For an excellent overview of the Title V MCH Block Grant, download AMCHP's commemorative booklet Celebrating the Legacy, Shaping the Future which includes information about Title V, AMCHP, and state and territorial MCH programs.

With the passing of the Social Security Act in 1935, the Federal Government, through Title V, pledged its support of State efforts to extend health and welfare services for mothers and children. This landmark legislation resulted in the establishment of State departments of health or public welfare in some states and facilitated the efforts of existing agencies in others.

Over the years, the achievements of Title V-supported projects have been integrated into the ongoing care system for children and families. Landmark projects have produced guidelines for child health supervision from infancy through adolescence; influenced the nature of nutrition care during pregnancy and lactation; recommended standards for prenatal care; identified successful strategies for the prevention of childhood injuries; and developed health safety standards for out-of-home child care facilities.

Although Title V has been frequently amended over the years, the underlying goal has remained constant: continued improvement in the health, safety, and well-being of mothers and children.*

Title Accountability Title V Today... Leadership, Performance, Accountability
  • Title V remains the only Federal program that focuses solely on improving the health of all mothers and children.
  • Title V is a partnership with State Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) programs, reaching across economic lines to support such core public health functions as resource development, capacity and systems building, population-based functions such as public information and education, knowledge development, outreach and program linkage, technical assistance to communities, and provider training.
  • Title V makes a special effort to build community capacity to deliver such enabling services as care coordination, transportation, home visiting, and nutrition counseling, which complement and help ensure the success of State Medicaid and SCHIP medical assistance programs.
  • Title V funds support programs for children with special health needs to facilitate the development of family-centered, community-based, coordinated systems of care.
  • Title V-supported programs provide gap-filling prenatal health services 2 million women and primary and preventive health care to more than 17 million children, including almost 1 million children with special health needs.
  • Special projects target underserved urban and rural areas with efforts at the community level that promote collaboration between public and private sectors, leaders, and health care providers.
  • A new cadre of trained pediatric emergency specialists, more emergency equipment suited to the special needs of children are available, and protocols to ensure that more young lives can be saved in emergency situations are in place.
  • Today many historical legacies of Title V survive as key components of local and State systems of care.*
*Understanding Title V pdf

The History of Title V

Download The Roots and Evolution of Title V or check out HRSA's 75th Anniversary of Title V overview.

Check out AMCHP's interactive, self-paced learning module focused on the History of Title V Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) programs. This tool was developed in response to a growing need to understand the challenging context that has led to the current structure and policies around Title V CYSHCN programs. The module includes research-based content, resources, and perspectives from key experts from the Maternal and Child Health field. This tool may also be used as a refresher for Title V staff and other health professionals to describe progress in state Title V CYSHCN activities and how these programs are moving forward.