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Title V Block Grant

The Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant Program acts as a safety net provider for health care 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 and budget information. A draft of the program overview and state action plan for year 3 of the 2021-2025 Title V funding cycle is available below for public comment and will be incorporated into the Title V Block Grant 2021 Annual Report and 2023 Application once final. Public comments will be accepted until C.O.B. July 8, 2022 and should be submitted to In addition, the Needs Assessment Summary update and updated Data Briefs are available for review.

For more information about the Title V Block Grant and the maternal and child health (MCH) populations in Pennsylvania,  see the visual executive summary, fact sheets, and MCH data briefs, below:

Needs and Capacity Assessment

Every five years, the Bureau of Family Health is required by the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant (MCHSBG) to conduct a Five-Year Needs and Capacity Assessment – a state-level, comprehensive assessment of the health status of the maternal and child health populations in Pennsylvania including women and mothers, infants, children, adolescents and children with special health care needs. The objective of the assessment is to identify the priority health needs that will guide state and local Title V work over the next five-year funding cycle. During the assessment, the Bureau of Family Health also evaluates its capacity to serve and meet the needs of Pennsylvania's maternal and child health populations.  

The assessment is a multi-step process which includes evaluation of the following:

  • Social, economic and environmental determinants of health
  • Health disparities
  • Quantitative data from state and national datasets
  • Qualitative data such as focus group feedback
  • Title V workforce capacity
  • Title V program partnerships and collaborations

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

A report describing the planning, implementation and results of the 2020 Five-Year Needs and Capacity Assessment can be found below.

2020 Five-Year Needs and Capacity Assessment:

The Health Resources and Services Administration also encourages Title V Block Grant programs to conduct ongoing and interim needs assessment during reporting years between five-year needs and capacity assessments. Through interim needs assessment, the Bureau of Family Health evaluates the extent to which the priority needs are being met, identifies emerging health issues, and continues to gather feedback from providers, service recipients, and other stakeholders. For more information on Pennsylvania's interim Title V needs assessment activities, click on the links below.

Interim Needs and Capacity Assessment:

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