When babies and toddlers emerge from their early childhood days and grow into children, adolescents, and young adults, the conditions in which they live, learn, work, play, worship, and age affect their lifelong health.
Many children face challenges receiving the care they need. Families and children living in poverty, in underserved or underrepresented communities, who are uninsured or those with special health care needs are more likely to experience negative health outcomes than other children.
Well visits seek to prevent and identify diseases early. However, only 2 in 5 children receive age-appropriate vaccines by their 2nd birthday.i And, 1 in 5 adolescents did not have a preventive medical visit within the past year.ii
Our Approach to Child & Adolescent Health
We identify strengths and needs early to make sure children get the services they need where they live. We work to make sure youth transition into adult care systems.
Our complementary programs promote better health outcomes by:
Improving access to quality services
- Emphasizing prevention, screenings, referrals, and specialty services
- Investing in health and mental health promotion and injury & violence prevention
- Expanding school-based health and mental health services
- Using technology to increase access to health care through telehealth
- Facilitating children and youth’s access to health insurance
- Ensuring access to age-appropriate safety net emergency services for children
- Providing child- and family-centered, culturally- and linguistically-appropriate, community-based services
- Supporting the development of tools and resources to reduce disparities and to prioritize health equity for children and their families
Strengthening the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) workforce
- Training Maternal and Child Health (MCH) leaders and the MCH workforce to address the unique needs of children and youth
Maximizing impact through leadership, partnership, and stewardship
- With our committed partners, our programs improve systems of services, including for children with special health care needs.
Through the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant, we enhance and support child health.
Specific programs strengthen:
Health promotion and health care services
Enhancing the System of Services for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) through Systems of Integration
Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) (PDF - 697 KB)
National Adolescent and Young Adult Health Information Center
National Center for Health Insurance and Financing for CYSHCN
Networks for Oral Health Integration within the MCH Safety Net
Mental health promotion and services
Screening and Interventions for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Primary Care Settings Demonstration Project
Keeping children safe and preventing injuries
- Bullying Prevention
- Children’s Safety Network
- National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep Program (page coming soon)
Family engagement and support systems
- Early Childhood Systems: Infant Toddler Court Program
- Family-to-Family Health Information Centers (F2Fs)
- Family Leadership in Language and Learning Center
- Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting
- Medical Home Implementation for CYSHCN
- National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships
- National Center for Health Care Transition for Youth with Special Health Care Needs
Gathering Data and Tracking Progress
We gather program and national data to track progress.
- National Performance Measures (NPMs), including developmental screening and adolescent well-visits
- National Outcome Measures (NOMs), including SUID mortality, child mortality, adolescent mortality, and adolescent suicide
Our National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) serves as the data source for over half of our NPMs (9 of 15) and a quarter of our NOMs (7 of 25).