The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) workforce aims to improve health outcomes for women, children, and families. The work requires coordination and partnerships that span disciplines and service systems. As such, workforce needs assessment requires an approach that is broad, flexible, and “systems-aware.”
To illustrate the use of System Support Mapping, a novel systems thinking tool that was used to guide participants through a structured assessment of their discrete responsibilities, key needs, and specific resources required for each.
Thirty-four Title V MCH professionals and partners from 15 states or jurisdictions.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
Description and frequency of Title V MCH professionals' coded roles, responsibilities, needs, resources, and wishes. An aggregated map illustrating interconnections between identified codes is presented.
State- and local-level MCH professionals reported a range of roles, responsibilities, needs, resources, and wishes. The most and least frequently reported roles, responsibilities, needs, resources, and wishes by state- and local-level MCH professionals are listed, as well as the most frequent connections between those responses. The most frequent responsibility reported in local maps was “link to or provide care or resources” (82%), whereas the most frequent responsibility reported in state maps was “system management” (65%). System management was indirectly connected to 3 wishes: “access to data or information,” “funding or resources,” and “collaboration, coordination, or support from community or other external organizations.”
System Support Mapping can be used to support needs assessment with MCH professionals. System Support Maps show not only the most and least frequently reported roles, responsibilities, needs, resources, and wishes of participants but also how those responses are connected and potentially interdependent. System Support Maps may be useful for MCH leaders determining how best to organize their teams to take on complex public health challenges and prioritize improvements that will better support their work.