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Jul 01, 2016

What Is Help Me Grow Doing at The World Infant Mental Health Congress?

I wrestled with this exact question in the weeks leading up to the congress for three extremely good reasons.

First, the congress started two days after the Help Me Grow National Forum! Going from one to the other would be like organizing a wedding, running a marathon, then attending a state dinner. Too much! Second, the Congress was in Prague, Czech Republic. The cost to participate and present wasn’t small.

But the number one reason that the

Help Me Grow National Goes INTERnational

On May 28, 2016—just days after the end of the annual Help Me Grow National Forum—two members of the HMG National Center flew 4000 miles across the Atlantic for the 15th Annual World Congress on Infant Mental Health in Prague, Czech Republic.

The World Congress is an international gathering of professionals in the field of infant mental health. It is organized by the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

Kimberly Martini-Carvell, HMG National Executive Director, and Erin Cornell, Program Manager for Research, Innovation & Evaluation, attended the Congress to present in two poster sessions.

Alongside Susan Vater of The Village for Families & Children, Kimberly and Erin spoke on Help Me Grow as a systems change model that creates a future of better outcomes for all vulnerable young children. They also presented on Mid-Level Developmental Assessment as a means to engage families in shared decision-making.

We at the National Center are very grateful to participate in this international movement for the optimal development of infants within families, and to share the potential of HMG and MLDA with the world.

See full size HMG poster.

See full size MLDA poster.


























Forum 2016 Follow-Up!

Director's Note:
Thoughts on the 7th Annual Help Me Grow National Forum 

For me, the 2016 Help Me Grow forum was filled with great anticipation.
Over the past six months, the National Center explored, wrestled with and challenged a lot of what we have been thinking, doing and communicating to the affiliates. Collectively, we have a desire to support and enhance the system building work that each and every one of you are doing. We have used a critical lens to evaluate the value proposition of the National Center. For the National Center team, the 2016 forum was the opportunity to test, validate or refute our value proposition theories (data, research, system building, evaluation, diffusion of innovation) in real time.

For me, the 2016 Help Me Grow forum was filled with great appreciation.
First, I want to express deep appreciation for Help Me Grow South Carolina’s hospitality and leadership. The atmosphere that you cultivated and created for the forum was warm, welcoming and thoughtful.  Second, thank you to all the forum participants for their energy, expertise and willingness to challenge the status quo – the characteristics of a true learning community. I am full of gratitude to the forum planning committee, the breakout session facilitators and Dr. Renee Boynton-Jarrett for sharing of time, talent and a message.

For me, the 2016 Help Me Grow forum was filled with aspiration.
Whether deep in one-on-one conversations, participating in breakout sessions, listening to general sessions or browsing the state HMG posters, I couldn’t help but be full of hope. You are all agents of change, who are thoughtfully and systematically working towards a shared vision. The details of the vision are very different, depending upon the affiliate, but the desire to build comprehensive early childhood systems that support families in ensuring that their child(ren) reach their full developmental potential is singular.

Kimberly Martini-Carvell
Executive Director, Help Me Grow National Center

Forum Materials

You can find presentation slides, materials from breakout sessions, and much more in the Affiliate Section of To find the Forum materials, log in with your username and password and scroll to the bottom of the landing page (see photo below). Contact Lindsay Haythorn at if you need assistance with login credentials.

Slide Show!

From selfies to sessions, the Forum Silde Show captures it all.





HMG Policy Briefs

Click here for policy briefs on

 De-medicalizing childhood developmental and behavioral concerns 

How HMG promotes protective factors

HMG & Medicaid.