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Maternal and Child Health


The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is committed to improving the health of women of childbearing age, adolescents, children, infants, and children with special health care needs. Located within the Family Health Section (under the Center for Health Advancement Division), our staff supports the development of family-centered, community-based, coordinated systems of care.

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) started as part of the Social Security Act (SSA) in 1935 and is one of the largest federal block grant programs. It focuses on maternal, infant, child and adolescent health including children with special health care needs. SSA was the origin of the federal government's pledge of support to states in improving the health of mothers and children throughout the nation. Since the original act, MCH has been changed several times to reflect the growing national interest in maternal and child health and well-being. One of the first changes occurred when MCH became a block grant program in 1981, resulting in a merge of seven categorical programs into a single block grant. Most recently MCH has asked states to prioritize their focus according to the needs of the state.

Priorities to support our vision reflect the specific needs identified through a state five-year needs assessment process. This process includes a team approach to including MCH stakeholders, especially families. Based on direction given by the federal Maternal & Child Health Bureau, Arkansas MCH has arranged these web pages according to age groups and related programs:

Women’s Health and Family Planning – Women of childbearing years (ages 18-44) – see our programs and information about Text4baby, Breastfeeding, Women’s and Maternal Health, Reproductive Life Plan, Contraceptives, Maternal Mortality, and related resources.

Infants (birth to 1 year of age) – see our programs and information about Infant Hearing, Hospitals, Newborn Screening, Infant Mortality, Safe Sleep, and related resources.

Child (ages 1-12) & Adolescent (Youth 12 to 25 years of age) Health –  see our programs and information about - Developmental Milestones, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Parent Support, School Health, Providers, Teens, Adolescent Resources, and other related resources.

Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) – The Arkansas Department of Human Services (ADHS) administers the CSHCN Program through the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services - see programs and information about Community Contractors, Transition, Medical Home, provider information, resources for contractors, and related resources here.

Cross-Cutting/Life Course – Strategies and programs that affect multiple ages from birth to women – see our programs and information about WIC, home visiting, rural health, immunizations, tobacco cessation, obesity, infant mortality, and well visits.

An important partner in our work to improve maternal and child health is the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP). AMCHP is a national resource, partner and advocate for ADH MCH leaders and others working to improve the health of women, children, youth and families, including those with special health care needs.


For more information about Maternal and Child Health, or information regarding maternal and child health in Arkansas, please contact our office.

Office Address Phone Fax
Arkansas Department of Health
Family Health Branch
5800 W. 10th St.
Suite 810
Little Rock, AR 72204
501-661-2021 501-661-2464

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Arkansas Department of Health
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4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867