At the beginning of the 21st century, researchers, policymakers and advocates had surprisingly few sources of analytic data concerning key issues in the healthy development and well-being of children and their families in the United States. Moreover, there was often no information about the health of children in individual states beyond the perinatal period. The Health Services Resources and Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), which is charged with promoting and improving the health of the nation's mothers and children, implemented a set of new data initiatives to address those gaps. In 2001, the MCHB, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), conducted the National Survey of Children With Special Health Care Needs, a random-digit-dial survey of almost 40000 children considered to have special needs. The survey was designed to provide both national- and state-level estimates for this population.1...

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