We believe that all children should be able to grow, develop, and thrive to reach their full potential.
The early years present incredible opportunity to build a strong foundation as the brain rapidly develops during the first five years of life. All children benefit from an organized system of community resources to help them thrive, like health care, quality early learning experiences, healthy nutrition, and parent support. However, when the system is not well organized, it can be difficult for families to access resources for their children and challenging for service providers to connect families to needed supports. This can have long-lasting consequences on children’s health and well-being.
A network of community resources works like a power grid. When the grid functions well, families can plug in to an organized flow of resources and easily access the ones they need.
Help Me Grow strengthens the grid by maintaining a current directory of available services and connecting service providers to each other to create an interconnected system. Families benefit as Help Me Grow listens to them, links them to services, and provides ongoing support. Help Me Grow is available to all children, including those whose families may have concerns or simply want to learn more about their child’s development.
Help Me Grow is not a stand-alone program, but rather a system model that utilizes and builds on existing resources in order to develop and enhance a comprehensive approach to early childhood system-building in any given community. Successful implementation of the Help Me Grow model requires communities to identify existing resources, think creatively about how to make the most of existing opportunities, and build a coalition to work collaboratively toward a shared agenda.
Four cooperative and interdependent Core Components characterize the Help Me Grow system model:
A Centralized Access Point assists families and professionals in connecting children to appropriate community-based programs and services.
Family & Community Outreach builds adult caregivers’ understanding of healthy child development – how it works and what they can do to improve children’s outcomes – and their awareness of the supportive services available to families and service providers in the community.
When potential problems are spotted early on, they can be easier to address. Child Health Care Provider Outreach loops medical providers into the system and supports early detection and intervention efforts.