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Title V Block Grant

The Maternal and Child Health Services Title V Block Grant program acts as a safety-net provider for health care services and essential public health services for women, mothers, infants, children up to age 22, and children with special health care needs and their families. The program was created as part of the 1935 Social Security Act as a commitment to improving the health and well-being of the country's mothers, children, and families.

The Health Resources and Services Administration, a federal agency, oversees the Title V Block Grant program at the federal level. The Title V Block Grant is managed in Pennsylvania by the Bureau of Family Health in the Pennsylvania Department of Health. 

Each July, Pennsylvania submits a report to the federal agency which includes:

  •  Details on activities for the past year
  •  Details on future activities
  •  Budget information


Learn general information about the Title V Block Grant.

Needs and Capacity Assessment

Every five years, the Bureau of Family Health is required by the Title V Block Grant to do a Needs and Capacity Assessment:  a full study of the health of the Maternal and Child Health population in Pennsylvania, and the ability of the Bureau of Family Health to meet the needs of this population. 

The assessment looks at:

  •  Social issues
  •  Economic issues
  •  Political issues
  •  Environmental issues
  •  Statistical data
  •  Focus group feedback
  •  Bureau of Family Health abilities and partnerships

A summary of the 2015 Needs and Capacity Assessment is part of the Title V Block Grant 2014 Annual Report and 2016 Application.

At the end of the 2015 Needs and Capacity Assessment, Pennsylvania chose nine priorities to focus on for the next five-year programming cycle.  

The Health Resources and Services Administration encourages Title V Block Grant grantees to conduct an interim needs assessment on an annual basis to inform programming. An interim needs assessment is a way for the Bureau of Family Health to continue to gather feedback from providers and consumers during reporting years between five-year needs assessments.

2015 Block Grant Transformation

The block grant structure changed in 2015 with more importance placed on measuring state and program performance and including evidence-based strategies and measures into program planning. States will now divide their services and programming into six population domains:

  •  Women/Maternal Health
  •  Perinatal/Infant Health
  •  Child Health
  •  Children with Special Health Care Needs
  •  Adolescent Health
  •  Cross-cutting or Life Course

Over 20 National Outcome Measures and 15 National Performance Measures will be reported on by each state as a way to compare the health status of the Maternal and Child Health population between states and the nation.

Each state, including Pennsylvania, is now responsible for creating a State Action Plan. The State Action Plan links Pennsylvania's chosen priorities, programming goals, strategies, activities and performance measures together in a logical way.


Bureau of Family Health (BFH) recognizes client and family engagement activities are central to creating a system of care that is family-centered and responsive to the needs of families, as well as producing positive outcomes throughout the life course. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Family Health (BFH), assessed Title V providers on client and family engagement strategies and practices. A survey was drafted by BFH staff to gather information regarding the process of client and family engagement on designing, implementing and evaluating programs This report observes provider trends and methods as it pertains to family engagement

Public Input

Send us your comments and questions! We welcome public input at any time.

Title V MCH Block Grant Coordinator
Bureau of Family Health
Division of Child and Adult Health Services
Health and Welfare Building
625 Forster St.
Harrisburg, PA 17120-0701