Title V Maternal and Child Health Needs Assessment

Title V Maternal and Child Health Needs Assessment

Over the past two years, the Minnesota Department of Health has worked in partnership with families, communities, stakeholders, and public health professionals across the state to better understand the needs of women, children, and families living in Minnesota.

Through this work, the following eleven priority areas have been identified:

  • Access to Services and Supports for Children and Youth with Special Health Needs: Ensuring all kids and families have what they need to thrive.
  • Accessible and Affordable Health Care: Comprehensive, quality health care services, including Family Planning, that are available and affordable for all.
  • Adolescent Suicide: Reducing the number of youth who take their own life.
  • American Indian Family Health: Reducing disparities and supporting the well-being of American Indian families.
  • Boys and Young Men: Protecting and promoting the physical, mental, and emotional health among people who identify as male.
  • Care during Pregnancy and Delivery: Increasing accessible, quality health care during pregnancy and delivery.
  • Comprehensive Early Childhood Systems: Ensuring Minnesota has inclusive systems that link young children and their families to all the support and services they need.
  • Housing: Increasing safe, affordable, stable housing for all people living in Minnesota.
  • Infant Mortality: Reducing the number of infants that die before their first birthday.
  • Mental Well-Being: Ensuring all people living in Minnesota have the opportunity to realize their abilities, deal with day-to-day stress, have meaningful relationships and contribute to their family and community. Including building resilience in those who experience childhood trauma and adversity.
  • Parent and Caregiver Support: Supporting parents and caregivers socially and emotionally with family-focused activities, policies, and education.


Every five years the Minnesota Department of Health is asked to complete a comprehensive assessment of the health of children, mothers, and families in the state, in order to fulfill a requirement of the Title V Maternal & Child Health (MCH) Block Grant. The charge of this assessment is to review the health needs for the entire state, not just for areas under the direction of the Block Grant. The results of the needs assessment are used to identify statewide priorities.

The focus of the health assessment is on:

  • Women, Pregnant Women, and Mothers
  • Infants
  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Children and Youth with Special Health Needs
  • Communities and Families, including Fathers

How the needs assessment was completed

The Division of Child & Family Health used a mixed methods approach to conduct the needs assessment. In conducting needs assessment activities, the Needs Assessment Team operated from a trauma-informed intersectional framework that aimed to advance health and racial equity and acknowledge the strengths of our state’s communities.

For more information see our Title V Maternal and Child Health Needs Assessment Plan (PDF).

2020 Needs Assessment Process flow chart

In early 2018 the Needs Assessment Team gathered and reviewed existing reports, dashboards, needs assessment findings, and articles to understand the current status of maternal, child, and family health in Minnesota. During the summer of 2018, nearly 2,800 people responded to a Discovery Survey to share their thoughts on the greatest unmet needs of women, children and families in their communities, along with what they need to thrive and live their best lives.

Throughout the needs assessment, the team has conducted over 50 key informant interviews with subject matter experts, stakeholders, and community members to better understand the needs of women, children and families in Minnesota.

All of the information collected during 2018 and 2019 has been used to identify candidate priorities and to develop 40 data stories and data placemats which were used during prioritization exercises with the Maternal and Child Health Advisory Task Force, Minnesota Department of Health staff, and community during the summer of 2019. In total we hosted eight community forum events (four in person and four remote), one event at the Minnesota Department of Health, and two all day prioritization meetings with the Maternal and Child Health Advisory Task Force.

Materials to Share

A process evaluation of Minnesota’s needs assessment work is underway. The evaluation aims to identify opportunities to advance trauma-informed, intersectional maternal and child health research and evaluation. A guiding document was created and is shared here. Please note this document is a technical document to inform evaluation. Intersectionality and Trauma-Informed Applications for Maternal and Child Health Research and Evaluation: An Initial Summary of the Literature (PDF)

How to stay involved

To learn more about the next stage of the needs assessment work, strategy development, please visit the strategic planning website.

Please contact Blair Harrison, Title V Maternal & Child Health Needs Assessment Coordinator, if you have any questions about the needs assessment process or findings.

Other valuable links

Updated Thursday, 14-May-2020 10:18:08 CDT