OBJECTIVES: At the close of the 20th century, the government's role in maternal and child health is in a state of transition. What is needed is a framework defining roles and responsibilities and guidance on how to operationalize these functions. This article presents the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Functions Framework and discusses its value as an advocacy, planning, evaluation, and educational tool. METHODS: The Johns Hopkins Child and Adolescent Health Policy Center developed the Framework in collaboration with leading public health organizations. The process entailed formulating a conceptual approach and facilitating consensus among the relevant organizations. RESULTS: The Framework consists of three main components: (a) a list of ten essential public health services to promote maternal and child health, (b) an outline detailing program functions specific to MCH that apply to all levels of government and to all MCH populations, and (c) selected examples of local, state, and federal activities for implementing MCH program functions. CONCLUSIONS: The MCH Functions Framework can be used in advocacy, policy development, program planning, organizational assessment, education, and training. To date, it has been used by several state and local MCH agencies and in MCH education and training programs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health