Maternal & Child Health Block Grant

Why the Program is Needed

Ensuring the health of the Nation’s mothers and children, including children with special health care needs, is a critical priority. Children with disabilities face particularly high health risks during the pre-natal period and during infancy.  These include pre-mature births, low birth weight and spina bifida.  For instance, fifty percent of children with cerebral palsy are born at low weight (less than 2,500 grams) [i].

What it Does

Provides state grants that are used to:

  • Assure access to quality care, especially for those with low-incomes or limited availability of care;
  • Reduce infant mortality;
  • Provide and ensure access to comprehensive prenatal and postnatal care to women (especially low-income and at risk pregnant women);
  • Increase the number of children receiving health assessments and follow-up diagnostic and treatment services;
  • Provide and ensure access to preventive and child care services as well as rehabilitative services for certain children;
  • Implement family-centered, community-based, systems of coordinated care for children with special healthcare needs; and 
  • Provide toll-free hotlines and assistance in applying for services to pregnant women with infants and children who are eligible for Title XIX (Medicaid).

Authorizing Legislation

The Social Security Act 1935 (42 U.S.C. 701-729a)

Recent Funding

Please see the table on the Funding for Federal Disability-related Programs page.

For More Information