May 14, 2020
Learning from You: Childbirth Educators’ Roles and Opportunities in the Title V Maternal and Child Health Needs Assessments
By: Molly Giammarco, MPP | 0 Comments
As you may know, maternal and child health (MCH) entities within each state are preparing Title V Needs Assessment for the current and future MCH programming. The Title V grant provisions stipulate that states conduct these needs assessments every five years. This multi-year process helps determine the current needs of each state, the success of programs that the Title V MCH Block Grant supports, and the initiatives or programs that future grant funding should support.
Many childbirth educators take an active role in their state’s Title V Needs Assessments—and achieve great results. Lamaze would like to learn more about members’ efforts on the state level, especially as they pertain to Title V MCH programs.
If you are active or know of someone who is active in your state’s needs-assessment process, please consider taking this short Lamaze-based survey so we can learn about our members’ efforts as well as develop resources to help members contribute to their state’s Title MCH funding recommendations—during this round or the next.
Title V MCH Block Grant Background
Last July, Jill Wodnick M.A., LCCE, Chair of the Lamaze Advocacy & Collaboration Workgroup, provided an excellent explanation of the Title V MCH program and the upcoming state needs assessment in Connecting the Dots. Jill’s blog post is a great place to start learning about Title V and the state needs-assessment and the opportunity it presents childbirth educators.
As Jill points out, the needs assessment is a critical opportunity for childbirth educators to advocate for their state MCH programs to include Lamaze-based childbirth education or comprehensive childbirth education courses into MCH programming. Thanks to the efforts of Lamaze members, North Carolina and West Virginia have both successfully incorporated such programming into their state MCH programs.
The Needs-Assessment process is an ideal way to systematically increase access to childbirth education. Establishing Lamaze childbirth education as an evidence-based strategy measure also helps collect data on the impact Lamaze childbirth education has within a state’s Title V programming over the course of five years. The five-year assessment cycle also ensures that state MCH programs will collect and assess data across five years.
Title V of the U.S. Social Security Act designates funds to support state efforts to provide health and welfare services to mothers and children. Over the years, this federal-state partnership has resulted in guidelines for prenatal care, childhood supervision, nutrition, and safety, as well as health-safety standards for child care facilities. In conjunction with the State MCH and Children with Special Health Care Needs, Title V helps states develop, implement, and sustain programs and support mechanisms to ensure care-coordination, prenatal care, home visitation, and community-center programs.
Administered by the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), a division of the Department of Health & Human Services, Title V focuses on the tiered initiatives below.
The Title V’s reach is vast. HRSA reported that in 2018, the Title V MCH Block Grant helped 59 states and jurisdictions to provide care and public health services to approximately 55 million pregnant women, infants, children, and children with special needs. HRSA estimates that 91 percent all pregnant women, 99 percent of infants, and 54 percent of children benefitted from a Title V program.
How the Block Grant Works
Each year, state, and child agencies apply through their states (usually state health departments) for Title V funding. Congress requires states to submit an annual report each year, and conduct a needs-assessment every five years. States collect information on 1) health status, 2) health-service utilization, 3) health systems capacity, and 4) population/ community characteristics and contextual characteristics to identify needs, evaluate existing programs, and develop focus areas with future funding.
The Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP), is an instrumental resource in for state maternal and child programs and resource, offers comprehensive guidance for state Title V need assessments through its MCH Needs Assessment Toolkit. The Toolkit provides links to each state’s Title V reports, as well as guidance for states to assess their Title V-related needs.
Lamaze and Childbirth Advocacy
Through its appropriations process, Congresses uses a formula to determine the amount of funding each state receives through the Title V grant. Lamaze has teamed up with AMCHP and other stakeholder groups to advocate for additional funding for these programs with letters to House and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairs asking for the “highest possible funding levels” for the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant. Lamaze also joined a “Friends of MCH” letter that requested $715 million for the Title V MCH program.
The Lamaze/Childbirth Educator Role
On the state level, childbirth educators are uniquely situated to advocate for child-birth education programming and support through their state needs assessments. States where childbirth educators have successfully lobbied for the inclusion of Lamaze Childbirth Education in their state MCH programming show that state-based advocacy is effective—and critical.
Advocacy on every level is effective—and each of you has a unique contribution to make to our overarching goal of increasing access to Lamaze childbirth education. If you are active or interested in your state’s MCH program, please consider participating in this Survey. Lamaze will close this Survey on Friday, April 29, 2020.
Contact Molly Giammarco, Lamaze Senior Manager, Policy & Government Relations, with any questions.
About Molly Giammarco
Molly Giammarco has consulted for professional healthcare associations for more than eight years. As Lamaze International’s Senior Manager for Policy & Government Relations, Molly monitors legislation regulations related to maternal and child health, as well as advises the Lamaze Advocacy + Collaboration Committee.
Molly received her undergraduate degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and her master’s degree in public policy from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.
TagsLamaze International Advocacy Molly Giammarco Jill Wodnick Advocacy & Collaboration Committee Title V Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block G