What is Help Me Grow?
Help Me Grow is a system model that works to promote cross-sector collaboration in order to build efficient and effective early childhood systems that mitigate the impact of adversity and support protective factors among families, so that all children can grow, develop, and thrive to their full potential. Help Me Grow is not a stand-alone program, but rather a system model that utilizes and builds on things already in place in order to develop and enhance a comprehensive approach to early childhood system building in any given community. Successful implementation of Help Me Grow leverages existing resources, maximizes existing opportunities, and advances a coalition working collaboratively toward a shared agenda.
What is the role of the Help Me Grow National Center?
The mission of the HMG National Center is to enable and support the building of HMG systems across the country so that states can implement effective, universal, early surveillance and screening for all children and link those at risk for developmental and behavioral problems to appropriate programs and services. The National Center envisions a future in which all states have comprehensive HMG systems in place. The National Center leverages two strategies to expand and invest in a robust National Network of states and communities implementing Help Me Grow:
- Offering the opportunity for communities to become a formal affiliate of the National Network
- Providing tailored technical assistance to individual communities seeking additional support in implementing or expanding their Help Me Grow effortsi
What is the process for becoming a Help Me Grow affiliate?
Any community can explore Help Me Grow affiliation to join a National learning community comprised of states and communities working to advance early detection, referral, and linkage for young children and families. Benefits of affiliation to the National Network include access to: relevant available resources and expertise, structured peer-to-peer learning and problem-solving, leading national experts in early childhood and comprehensive system-building, and direct support through webinars, an annual conference, and informal consultation with National Center staff and/or other experts. Community leaders interested in affiliation are required to sign and return an annual Memorandum of Understanding, inclusive of a modest annual fee.
What is the process for receiving technical assistance from the National Center?
The HMG National Center provides technical support to states and communities to operationalize efforts to plan, build, and enhance a comprehensive and integrated statewide HMG system. Technical assistance intends to guide implementation of Help Me Grow Core Components and Structural Requirements with a goal of achieving fidelity to the model. Communities seeking technical assistance should, at a minimum: 1) have identified a lead backbone organization with the capacity to lead Help Me Grow implementation efforts over the short- and also ideally long-term, 2) have access to some level of direct or in-kind support for leadership and/or staffing for Help Me Grow efforts, and 3) have awareness of whether there are existing Help Me Grow efforts taking place within their state with which they may collaborate and/or directly align.
Technical assistance contracts are negotiated directly with states and communities based on identified priorities and available resources. If interested in Help Me Grow affiliation, please click here for more information.
What Are People Saying About Help Me Grow?
“The impact of Help Me Grow in Western New York has grown tremendously. We really work hard on strengthening the protective factors of the family in order to help the child develop at an earliest age to the extent that they can. For us, it has been really about engaging partners in multiple sectors and bringing to the community a better understanding of the importance of early childhood and the early childhood developmental access phase. We have seen a lot of systems change around early childhood and we have a lot of partners who come to the table now. Help Me Grow really is the rallying point around children in our community.”
– Lynn Pullano, Director of Help Me Grow Western New York
“Help Me Grow is a wonderful organization that helps so many families from an early age. There may very well be a multitude of service providers and agencies and places to go, but families don’t know that they’re out there. They need one place to go to be connected with all of the help and resources that are out there. We don’t need to all fight over who’s going to help the families. We all just need to work together to do it because the children we help today are going to lead us tomorrow.”
– Ali Perfetti, Help Me Grow Western New York Family Partner
“Help Me Grow can really help state leaders understand the growth and development of children and the potential for their trajectory. The triaging and the work that the Help Me Grow projects put in after the screening is done to really link the children and families to services is of the upmost importance.”
– Debi Mathias, Director of Quality Rating Improvement System National Learning Network for BUILD Initiative
“Help Me Grow is not something that is a daunting process. It really is a way to help us in the state utilize what we already have for good outcomes.”
– Shirley Payne, Help Me Grow Indiana
“The Help Me Grow model is about developmental promotion and lifting every family to their greatest potential. It’s a program for all families. It’s a service for all families and a system that supports other systems.”
– Lorraine Cragan-Sullivan, Help Me Grow South Carolina
“Help Me Grow is an incredibly strategic, smart model for how to create a system. I love that it’s so smart in the way that it, with little need for anything new, created a product that’s going to have a huge impact. I think the heart and soul of it is really the focus on the family and the impact that is has with families is huge.”
– Sharon Beaudoin, Help Me Grow Washington
i Affiliation with the National Network does not require that communities pursue technical assistance; communities interested in engaging in technical assistance may do so either at the start of or subsequent to their ongoing affiliation with the National Network. However, any community engaged in technical assistance with the National Center will as such be considered an affiliate, and thus the general expectations and benefits of Help Me Grow affiliation will apply.