Best Practices

Maternal and Child Health Planning

Local public health departments are asked to develop plans for the use of Maternal and Child Health Block Grant funds that they receive annually through a funding formula allocation administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The plan development is part of an ongoing "Best Practice" process of planning, implementation and evaluation of activities or strategies that address the priority needs of the women, infants, children and youth, including children and youth with special health care needs, in a county or health district. The local planning process contributes to the ability of the state to plan for and report progress in addressing the state and national Maternal and Child Health Performance Measures, as required by the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau. 


For the Maternal and Child Health Plans, local health agencies are asked to assess the needs of the maternal-child populations utilizing quantitative and qualitative data. They are encouraged to engage other agencies, programs and advocacy groups in their communities in a collaborative planning process that assesses the resources in the community that may be available to address the priority needs. The agencies then prioritize which needs they will use the MCH funds to address, considering what the data indicates, what other resources are available in the community and the capacity of their own organization. Once the local agency's priorities have been identified, they are asked to write an operational plan for the work they will carry out under this funding for the upcoming federal fiscal year (October through September). The plans are to present the goal(s), objectives, activities, process measure and outcome evaluation measure methods that will be employed. The objectives are to be reasonable, specific, time-framed and measurable.


To assist agencies in the plan development process, updated data and trend analyses regarding major maternal-child health indicators specific to that county or health district are provided to the agency by the state annually. MCH Generalist Consultants, Health Care Program for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Consultants, and MCH Implementation Team leads from the Children, Youth and Families Branch and other PSD Branches are available to work with local agencies in the development of their MCH plans and the identification of promising practices to address identified needs.


State and county trend analyses, MCH priority local actions plan, and a variety of other tools and recources can be found at the MCH website at