The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Program is addressing eight priority areas identified from the MCH 2010 needs assessment by using a systems-building approach and the Life Course Approach.
The MCH Program defines Early Childhood Systems as local public health departments working with community partners to build and integrate services and supports that promote optimal physical, mental, and social health and development of all children and their families. Important features include:
- Emphasis on Life Course Theory and the importance of early childhood
- Collaboration across agencies and partnership with broad-based stakeholders
- Coordination and non-duplication of efforts
- Accessibility and equitability for those at highest risk
- Quality improvement processes
- Ability to make best use of limited resources and sustain efforts over time
Why Are We Building Early Childhood Systems?
- Early Childhood Systems are a fundamental component of improving maternal, child, and family health.
- Agencies, stakeholders, and partners working together in a coordinated way are likely to have a greater impact than one agency working alone.
- The health care environment is changing. The primary purpose of Title V, particularly in light of the Affordable Care Act, is not to provide comprehensive health care services – services that were needed when the Title V MCH Block Grant was originally passed in 1935. Today the focus is on population-based and systems-building services. This shift maximizes the reach of Title V dollars with the intention of using limited resources efficiently.
- The federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau and other states are moving in this direction!
What Do Early Childhood Systems Look Like in Wisconsin?
Keeping Kids Alive – Local health departments work with partners to establish a Child Death Review or Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Team. Teams collect and review data to identify and recommend community prevention activities.
Wisconsin Healthiest Families – Local health departments work with partners to build and integrate services and supports to address child development, mental health, safety and injury prevention, and family supports.
What Is the Role of the Local Health Departments within MCH Early Childhood Systems?
- Local health departments play an important role within Early Childhood Systems. They:
- Prioritize local health department objectives
- Gather and engage partners
- Guide the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation steps
- Assure the community moves the work forward in a coordinated manner
- Promote accountability
- Help build conditions for Collective Impact:
- Common agenda,
- Shared measurement system,
- Mutually reinforcing activities,
- Continuous communication, and
- Backbone support organization
The 2011-2015 Title V MCH Block Grant funding supports early childhood systems work through two initiatives:
Wisconsin Healthiest Families
This initiative focuses on improving systems to address family supports, child development, mental health, and safety and injury prevention.
Keeping Kids Alive
Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN): Local public health departments working on the Early Childhood Systems initiatives, Wisconsin Healthiest Families (WHF) and/or Keeping Kids Alive (KKA), should collaborate with the Wisconsin Title V Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program's Regional Centers for CYSHCN or other partners for help in including CYSHCN.
MCH Early Childhood Systems Core Competencies
Local Health Department Staff Contacts provides contact information for statewide partners supporting the Wisconsin Healthiest Families and Keeping Kids Alive initiatives.
Children's Health Alliance of Wisconsin Staff Contacts provides contact information for KKA program staff working with regions. Provide KKA technical assistance that includes: planning meetings, training, template forms, sample reviews, assistance with troubleshooting barriers, data collection and analysis. Visit the Alliance website to learn more about Keeping Kids Alive and the resources available. Contact Abby Collier, Injury Prevention and Death Review Project Manager at 414-292-4016 for additional information.
Past events with links to recorded sessions, websites and/or materials.
- Keeping Kids Alive Summit (November 14, 2013): Child Death Review and Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Summit for public health and community partners.
- Keeping Kids Alive overview (98 min.)
- Conducting effective reviews of deaths related to prematurity (60 min.)
- Current legislation (50 min.)
- Mental health and substance abuse issues in pregnancy (58 min.)
- Mock Child Death Review (34 min.
- MCH Conference/Public Health Nursing Pre-Conference and Conference (August 19 and 20, 2013)
- Public Health Nursing Pre-Conference (August 20, 2012)
Developmental Screening: A Systems Approach (December 6, 2011): Speakers represent a variety of sectors working towards ensuring that no child will enter kindergarten with an undetected developmental delay. Learn the steps that coalitions can take to organize an effective system for developmental screening.
Strengthening Families: Risk and Protective Factors (November 1, 2011): Features Lily Irvin-Vitela from Supporting Families Together Association. This session will help you gain knowledge of family systems and cross-sector collaboration.
- Healthy Babies Summit and AWHONN State Conference: Connecting the Dots, Building a System of Care (October 13-14, 2011): Below are links to the four plenary and three breakout sessions from the conference:
- New Knowledge, New Approaches, New Opportunities for Clinical Medicine and Public Health Partnerships - Maxine Hayes, MD, MPH
- Putting Life Course Perspective into Practice - Maxine Hayes, MD, MPH
- Maternal Child Health Opportunities and Challenges in Health Reform - Brent Ewig, MHS
- Human Milk in the NICU: How Does it Impact Short- and Long-Term Infant Health? - Paula Meier, RN, DNSc, FAAN
- Methadone Use in the Perinatal Period: What Parents and Providers Need to Know - Sharon Nelson, RN, MSN, BC NNP
- Postpartum Weight Retention: From Research to Practice - Marianne Weiss, DNSc
- Putting Your Passion into Action - Mary Mazul, CNS and Jill Radowicz, BSN
Focus - Bright Futures Promoting Child Development and Promoting Mental Health: Part 1
Wisconsin has five Regional Centers for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs that can help families get answers, find services, and connect with community resources. Their services are free and private.