Maternal and Child Health (MCH) is a program that is delivered through partnerships and builds on other community programs. It is a proactive, preventative and strategic approach to promoting the good health and development of on-reserve pregnant First Nations women and families with infants and young children. The program aims to reach all pregnant women and new parents, with long-term support for those families who require additional services.
A key element of the program is home visiting by nurses and family visitors (experienced mothers in the community), who provide information, support, and linkages to other services; integrating culture into care is a key aspect of the program.
Program objectives include increasing First Nations training opportunities for MCH service providers, increasing participation of on-reserve community members in planning and developing services, increasing coordination of services for on-reserve clients, and developing and/or using existing evaluation tools to measure progress using evidence-based models and approaches.
For the past ten years the provinces and territories have been strengthening their maternal and child health programming because it has such a positive effect on the lives of pregnant women, and families with infants and young children.
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