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MCH Leadership Competencies

Competency 12: Policy


It is important for MCH leaders to possess policy skills, particularly in changing and competitive economic and political environments. MCH leaders understand the resources necessary to improve health and well-being for children, youth, families, and communities, and the need to be able to articulate those needs in the context of policy development and implementation.

A public policy is a law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, or voluntary practice of government that affects groups or populations and influences resource allocation.


MCH leaders will demonstrate a working knowledge of:

  • Public policy-making processes at local, state, and national levels.
  • Current public policies and private-sector initiatives that are especially relevant to MCH populations.
  • Appropriate methods for informing and educating policymakers about the needs of MCH populations and the impact of current policies on those populations.
  • Strategies for public communication on key MCH priorities.


Foundational. At the foundational level, MCH leaders will:

  1. Frame problems based on key data that affect MCH populations, including epidemiological, economic, political, and social trends.
  2. Use data and evaluative criteria in proposing policy change.
  3. Distinguish the roles and relationships of groups involved in the public policy development and implementation process. Such groups include the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government at all levels, as well as interest groups and coalitions.
  4. Advanced. Building on the foundational skills, MCH leaders will:
  5. Apply appropriate evaluation standards and criteria to the analysis of alternative policies.
  6. Analyze the potential impact of policies on diverse MCH population groups.
  7. Formulate strategies to balance the interests of diverse stakeholders in ways that are consistent with MCH priorities.
  8. Effectively present evidence and information to a legislative body, key decision makers, foundations, or the general public.
  9. Craft a convincing MCH story designed to motivate constituents and policymakers to take action.

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