What is Help Me Grow?
The goal of Help Me Grow Florida is to promote healthy development for every child in Florida. Help Me Grow (HMG) is a unique, comprehensive, and integrated statewide system designed to address the need for early identification of developmental and/or behavioral concerns, and then to link children and their families to community-based developmental and behavioral services and supports.
Help Me Grow is an effective system because its efforts revolve around uniting a community to address the need for early detection through surveillance and screenings of children and building connections to community-based services and supports to address their needs.
Why is it important?
Early detection and intervention are critical for optimal outcomes for children, but too often children miss this opportunity. Help Me Grow addresses this by building collaboration among community programs, providing a centralized access point for information and referral, promoting surveillance & screenings, and educating and informing the community.
Who can benefit from Help Me Grow?
Help Me Grow supports families, child health care, early care and education, and human service providers. The community can use Help Me Grow to identify early signs of developmental or behavioral concerns and the available community resources to address their needs. Without HMG this sensitive period of opportunity may be missed due to untimely assessments or difficulty in finding and navigating appropriate resources.
What are the Help Me Grow components?
- A telephone access point that links families of young children with sources of support and services to address concerns about a child's health, development, behavior and learning in a child's first eight years of life.
- Child health care & education provider outreach trainings to educate our community about child development and the importance of early detection and intervention.
- Community outreach to promote the use of Help Me Grow and to provide networking opportunities for the community.
- Data collection to understand all aspects of the Help Me Grow system, including the identification of gaps and barriers in order to provide more effective services.
Who is part of the Help Me Grow affiliate network?
Help Me Grow Florida is an affiliate of the HMG National Center. There are currently two established affiliates and five new affiliate sites, serving twenty-two counties across the state. Soon, additional future affiliates will be joining the network to begin planning and resource building to cultivate the infrastructure for Help Me Grow through the State Coordinating Office. In conjunction with the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and the Office of Early Learning, Help Me Grow Florida affiliates and partners are quickly moving towards statewide expansion.
How can I be involved?
If you would like to be included in updates about the Help Me Grow Florida network please send an email to the State Coordinator Katherine Suarez at: firstname.lastname@example.org.