Through our current initiatives, AMCHP supports state and jurisdictional Title V Maternal & Child Health (MCH) programs to strengthen early childhood systems so that all families and caregivers can access high-quality services when, how and where they want to. We do this by providing Title V MCH program staff with practical resources, including individualized hands-on technical assistance, that offer guidance on strategically leveraging existing resources to accelerate progress toward early childhood systems that produce equitable outcomes.
- Enhancing Collaboration among Early Childhood Systems Programs
- Bright Futures
- Racial Inequities in Access to Food
- Environmental Health
- Children’s Healthy Weight State Capacity Building Program
- Learn the Signs. Act Early.
- Our Partners
One of AMCHP’s primary current child health initiatives is a project designed to enhance collaboration among Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) programs, the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), and early childhood systems (ECS) programs. AMCHP received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau and partnered with early childhood experts to understand what helps and hinders collaboration among early childhood programs. As part of this project, AMCHP designed and pilot tested a framework for collaboration among Title V, MIECHV, and other ECS programs that is centered in systems building and provides practical tools for staff from each of the programs to utilize in strategically aligning their program goals and resources towards a common early childhood goal. The framework is included in AMCHP’s Roadmap for Collaboration among Title V, Home Visiting, and Early Childhood Systems Programs. The Roadmap also includes additional background information about this project, recommendations for improved alignment among early childhood programs at the state and local level, and case studies from four states/jurisdictions.
From 2020-2021, AMCHP staff provided intensive technical assistance to four states and jurisdictions (Indiana, Louisiana, Guam, and Mississippi) to pilot test the above-mentioned framework for increasing state-level coordination among Title V, MIECHV, and Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems programs. Representatives from each of the three programs and a family leader drafted an action plan to improve collaboration to achieve a mutual priority. Based on the pilot, AMCHP staff developed this Roadmap that state-level early childhood program leaders and staff can use and tailor to increase collaboration on shared goals.
Currently, AMCHP is examining the collaboration and partnership between Title V, MIECHV, and ECS programs to create centralized/coordinated intake mechanisms for state early childhood systems. This will involve conducting a robust environmental scan to identify what helps and hinders collaboration around centralized intake mechanisms and completing a qualitative analysis. Check back in Summer 2022 when AMCHP will publish a resource summarizing the findings from this work, including recommendations for a collaborative model for building, maintaining, and communicating equitable centralized intake mechanisms for state early childhood systems.
AMCHP partners with the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Bright Futures National Center to support Title V MCH programs in working with primary care practices, home visitors, public health nurses, early child care and education professionals, school nurses, and nutritionists to implement and align with evidence-based practices for infant, child, and adolescent well visits as indicated in Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 4th Edition. See below for recently released resources. To learn more about Bright Futures, watch this 2-minute introductory video. Resources for State and Jurisdictional Title V MCH Programs:
- Tip Sheet: How can Title V Programs Support Pediatric Health Care Professionals in Addressing Social Determinants of Health? (2021)
- Webinar: Bright Futures Presents: Resources, Strategies, and Experiences to Advance NPMs 11 & 12 (2020)
- Bright Futures: How Title V Programs Evolve from Guidelines to Action (2020)
- Bright Futures Guidelines, 4th Edition—Introduction for Public Health Professionals (2017)
- Bright Futures Resources for State Title V Maternal & Child Health Programs – this one-page document highlights several additional resources that may be of use to Title V program staff.
AMCHP was recently selected as a host site for a CDC Public Health Associate. As a core focus of the associate’s two-year assignment with AMCHP (2021-2023), they will work to understand and identify ways that Title V programs can promote racial equity in rates of food security across the lifespan using a respectful, community-centered food justice and food sovereignty approach.
AMCHP’s online, interactive resource, the MCH Lead Toolkit, shares the lessons learned, best practices, and resources from the Maternal and Child Environmental Health Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (MCEH CoIIN) and is updated regularly with new resources. The toolkit was developed to help public health professionals access lead poisoning prevention resources, strategies, tools, and ideas that they can replicate or adapt in their states and communities. The toolkit features:
- Easy navigation to meet your needs – you choose how you go through the toolkit and which sections you use
- Interactive action center organized by focus areas for systems change (Family Engagement and Partnership, Clinical Settings, and more!)
- Case studies from nine state teams that tested out innovative practices and quality improvement methods
- Tip sheets and resources
- Searchable resource index of over 100 resources!
In an effort to increase awareness about children’s environmental health, AMCHP participates in Children’s Environmental Health Day, National Healthy Homes Month, and National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. Our environmental health partners in the MCEH CoIIN (for more information about this past project, please visit our overview page) and beyond have included:
- Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
- Children’s Environmental Health Network
- Green and Healthy Homes Initiative
- National Academy for State Health Policy
- National Center for Healthy Housing
- National Environmental Health Association
- National Institute for Children’s Health Quality
Questions? Please email MCHLeadToolkit@amchp.org.
Led by the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists, The Children’s Healthy Weight State Capacity Building Program is a five year project (2020-2025) that aims to build the capacity of participating state’s (North Dakota, Oregon, and Wisconsin) Title V programs to integrate nutrition by increasing MCH nutrition competency and optimizing nutrition-related data sources for effective program planning. AMCHP staff serve on the project’s advisory board to provide guidance on project implementation and to provide support directly to participating state teams.
The CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early. (LTSAE) Initiative promotes collaboration among early childhood programs in states and jurisdictions so children with autism or other developmental delays and disabilities can be identified early and referred to appropriate services and supports. AMCHP has been a long-time collaborator with the CDC and other national partners to advance the Act Early initiative, and administered the Act Early State Systems Grants from 2011-2019 to strengthen state and community systems for early identification and coordination of services for children with developmental disabilities. Current partnership efforts to support LTSAE include:
WIC Developmental Monitoring Project
Led by the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists, the WIC Developmental Monitoring Project (Learn the Signs. Act Early) aims to equip WIC staff with tools and resources to help identify earlier and address the developmental concerns of children and their families. Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Learn the Signs. Act Early. program is evidence-based and aims to increase parent-engaged developmental monitoring of all children’s development and early action on possible concerns. AMCHP staff serve on the project’s advisory board to provide guidance on overall project implementation and to share expertise related to potential connections to and opportunities for Title V block grant programs to support this effort.
Promoting the Act Early COVID-19 Response
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been disruptions in care and increased delays in early identification and early intervention services for children with developmental delays and disabilities. This especially impacted and further heightened inequities experienced by children and families of color and those from under-resourced communities. As part of the COVID-19 response, the Act Early Network and partners are supporting early childhood systems, programs, providers and families to support recovery and strengthen resilience skills, behaviors, and resources of children, families, and communities. AMCHP partnered on a national webinar with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, and Title V, family and community leaders from the Act Early COVID-19 Response teams on this webinar to broadly share the efforts to respond to the pandemic. This webinar highlighted systems and program priorities that advance equitable and optimal children’s health and development outcomes, and how LTSAE resources and strategies can used to address priorities in promoting children’s health and development, and early identification of needs. The recording is available here.
As a component of our support to state and jurisdictional Title V MCH programs, AMCHP strives to model intentional partnership and coordination with our colleagues housed in early childhood-related national technical assistance centers across the country. Our partners include:
- Association of State Public Health Nutritionists
- Bright Futures National Center (AAP)
- Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems Technical Assistance Center (Altarum)
- Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Resource Center (EDC)
- National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety (EDC)
- National Center for Early Childhood Quality Assurance (ICF)
- National Healthy Start Association
- National Institute for Children’s Health Quality
Recent Resources & Tools
Roadmap for Collaboration among Title V, Home Visiting, and Early Childhood Systems Programs
AMCHP and AAP Virtual Learning Café on Pediatric Mental Health: Session 1 Recording
AMCHP and AAP are hosting a virtual learning café series to increase awareness of community-based mental health supports that are available to children/youth and families. Each learning café will include a short didactic presentation, followed by peer-to-peer discussion and questions. Presenters will include staff from MCH Title V programs who have ongoing mental health programs that involve Pediatric Mental Health Care Access (PMHCA) programs and/or pediatric primary care professionals. This recording is of the first virtual learning café that took place on September 7th, 2023. The session featured the Virginia Department of Health. Access resources related to the PMHCA Virtual Café Padlet: https://padlet.com/tkeane8/pmhca_virtual_cafe Read More
Essential Elements for Developmental and Behavioral/Social/Emotional Screening Using Bright Futures in Title V Programs
An important part of health supervision for children and families is universal screening – an opportunity to identify potential developmental and behavioral/social/emotional concerns and intervene early. Using Bright Futures: Guidelines for Health Supervision of Infants, Children, and Adolescents, 4th Edition and the Bright Futures/American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Recommendations for Preventive Pediatric Health Care (Periodicity Schedule), Title V agencies can promote appropriate and timely screening for infants, children, adolescents, and families by their programs and partners. This tip sheet recommends five elements Title V agencies should have in place as part of any program that supports health supervision visits, whether the agency provides direct care itself or funds local health agencies or other community organizations. Read More
How to Plan an Accessible Virtual Event
This 20-minute quick learn course was created by AMCHP staff Maura Leahy who completed the CDC E-Learning Institute Fellowship. As a part of this six-month fellowship, Maura created a course on "How to Plan an Accessible Virtual Event" using best practices in e-learning, adult learning theory, and instructional design. The course was designed for people working in the Maternal & Child Health field, but will be of interest to broader public health professionals who want to increase the accessibility of their virtual events. You will need to have a free CDC TRAIN account to take this course. "How to Plan an Accessible Virtual Event" can be accessed here. For questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Review examples of promotional materials and identify which words need to be changed to plain language (or words that most people understand).
2. Describe three elements to writing good alternative text for images.
3. Outline the steps needed to get a live captioner for a virtual event. Read More
National Performance Measure (NPM) Implementation Toolkits
This series of toolkits provide specific evidence-based practices, reports, publications, and resources which can be adapted and implemented. The toolkits are specific to each Title V National Performance Measure (NPM), but they can be used by all MCH professionals. The goal of sharing these resources is to encourage Title V programs and other partners to share their NPM specific strategies and resources to support and improve MCH practice implementation across the United States. Click on each of the toolkits below to learn more. Read More