**Lea este boletín en español**

Help Me Grow Washington Network News

We are excited about the energy and early progress around the recently released Help Me Grow WA Strategic Plan. The plan outlines nine strategic initiatives that include:

  1. Establish a governance model
  2. Define goals and targets
  3. Establish new partnerships
  4. Develop specialized referral pathways
  5. Deploy strategic communications and conversations
  6. Build out technology, reporting, and infrastructure
  7. Conduct analysis and evaluation
  8. Implement Special Projects funding
  9. Coordinate funding and advocacy efforts

See HMG WA network updates in the context of how we're making progress on these initiatives!

Strategic Initiative #2 - Define Goals and Targets

One of the first priorities is setting goals, targets, and metrics through a Targeted Universalism approach. We are excited to share we are making progress on this priority! Seva Workshop has been selected through an RFP process to identify areas of unmet need across the HMG WA network, as well as recommend evaluation metrics to inform a Targeted Universalism approach for goal setting and progress assessment. The project also includes analyzing the data compiled to produce baseline metrics.

We view this short-term project (slated to wrap-up in December) as a first step in deepening our understanding of who HMG is serving and who is getting missed. Subsequent efforts will center the HMG Network to make meaning of what we’ve learned, solidify our performance and evaluation metrics, and identify targeted strategies to ensure all families with young children in Washington are accessing what they need. 

Strategic Initiative #3 - Establish New Partnerships

Strong Families, Early Supports 

The Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (WCAAP) held their a summit in September which brought together about 40 thought leaders who were focused on: 

  • Building strong and committed partnerships. 
  • Coalescing around a shared vision for health integration, namely "Strengthening the foundations of lifelong health through equitable, integrated, family-centered systems of care for young children and families (prenatal to three) in Washington State." 
  • Developing a shared understanding of the current state and opportunities for change. 
  • Developing agreements and initial action plans for advancing the vision. 

Learn more about the outcomes of this convening in the summary report. 

Strategic Initiative #4 - Specialized Referral Pathways

Early Childhood Development Health Systems (ECDHS)

On September 6th and 7th, the Washington ECDHS Implementation Site Team*, plus one of our key partners Sarah Holdener (DCYF), attended the First Annual Convening of the Early Childhood Developmental Health Systems (ECDHS): Evidence to Impact in Washington DC. This brought together the Transforming Pediatrics for Early Childhood (TPEC) Hubs, Implementation Site Teams and members of the Family Leadership Advisory Council and National Advisory Board. The meeting featured tailored sessions based on the technical assistance needs and successes and challenges identified by the TPEC Hubs and Implementation Sites. 


* The Washington Implementation Site Team is led by Angie Funaiole (WA State DOH) and includes Linden Obel (First 5 Fundamentals), Christine Cole (Health Care Authority), Kailani Amine (Washington Chapter – American Academy of Pediatrics (WCAAP), Rachel Hall (Washington Communities for Children), and Lark Kesterke (WithinReach).   

Systems Connection with Child Care Aware  

Help Me Grow Washington is partnering with Child Care Aware of Washington to explore increased collaboration and connection points between the two systems with the goal of streamlining access to essential early childhood supports for parents, caregivers, providers and community members.  


This will involve conducting internal assessments of WithinReach and Childcare Aware’s current capabilities, core services, and technologies to identify areas of alignment or compatibility, duplication, gaps, and potential challenge/barriers as it relates to process and technology integration. The goal is to land on the development of 2-3 high-level strategic options for investment and partnership of these two systems. 


Systems Connection with Paid Family and Medical Leave  

In partnership with Washington State Employment Security Department, Help Me Grow Washington is co-creating and testing approaches to raise awareness of the Paid Family and Medical Leave benefit among workers of low-income and workers of color, and identifying further opportunities to reduce disparities and eliminate barriers to Paid Leave. 


This has included listening sessions to gather information and feedback from both community health providers and families. In addition, this will include a pilot with the Statewide Help Me Grow coordinated access point in integrating a Paid Leave screener question into the comprehensive screening offered to families who call the Help Me Grow Washington hotline. 

Strategic Initiative #8 - Special Projects Funding

HMG Local Systems Leverage PDG Funding

In September, local affiliate systems and partners participated in a Request for Proposals process to solicit Preschool Development Grant (PDG) funding for community efforts to align with HMG WA’s 2023-28 Strategic Plan. This marked the inaugural Special Projects Funding activity for the HMG WA Network. As a result of this collaborative process, both statewide and community elements of the HMG WA strategic plan will be in full swing this fall. Counties receiving funding through this opportunity include: Island, Skagit, Grays Harbor, Central WA (Yakima and Kittitas), and Whatcom. 

Help Me Grow Local System Updates

Hear from a couple counties that applied to the PDG funding about how they plan to use these funds in their communities:

Central WA (Yakima and Kittitas Counties): Help Me Grow Central WA plans to use their funds to create bilingual social media pages on Instagram and Facebook for regular updates on Family Resource Navigator (FRN) services, resource availability, and early childhood development. Additionally, they will launch a bilingual Ayúdame a Crecer/Help Me Grow Central WA website as a central hub for HMG partners, parents, caregivers, and local resources related to health and basic needs, while also providing event information and HMG system details. HMG Central WA will also aim to host two resource fairs to share information about HMG and connect families/caregivers with their FRN.

Island County: Help Me Grow Island County will establish governance model and structure, specialized referral pathways and strategic communications and conversations. Island County will host a community workshop as follow-up to its community asset mapping process from the beginning of 2023. The purpose of the workshop will be to begin formulating HMG Island County's structure and governance. In addition, Island County will bring the Bright By Text service to the county as a way to connect families with young children to relevant information and tools about childhood development, and to connect them to community resources from their local early learning providers. They will also update and add new content to its recently launched HMG website.  

Help Me Grow Washington Statewide Coordinated Access Point (CAP): Staff members from WithinReach, Department of Children, Youth, and Families, and Help Me Grow Skagit represented Washington State at the Help Me Grow National In-Person Forum in Texas last month! Co-hosted by HMG National and HMG North Texas, it was an energizing forum that featured learning intensives, networking, affiliate short talks, time to learn from and develop new connections with HMG communities across the country, and more. 

The Help Me Grow National Virtual Event also took place last month! Many folks got to attend affiliate-led presentations and discussions. We hope that it was fruitful and also energizing. For those that registered, sessions will be available for the next 90 days so you can catch up on or rewatch any of the presentations. 

New staff member supporting the Help Me Grow Network and Help Me Grow Washington Statewide CAP!

We are happy to announce that we have a new staff member at WithinReach supporting the Help Me Grow Network and Help Me Grow Washington Statewide CAP! Kate Agyei Yeboah, Perinatal Partnership Manager, will focus on strengthening and developing relationships with providers and statewide systems that engage with families during the perinatal period. We look forward to introducing her as she onboards in the coming weeks and months!

Resource to Share

  • Effective Nov. 1, 2023, the DSHS Community Service Division (CSD) will automatically issue $100 each month to a TANF/SFA households that has an eligible child under 3 years old to support with child-related necessities such as diapers, pull-ups, and wipes. The passage of SB 5838 (2022 session) and subsequent funding under ESSB 5187 (2023) session) has made the creation and implementation of the Diaper Related Payment benefit possible. Read more about it in the partner letter.

Send along ideas and resources for the Help Me Grow Washington website and future newsletters by emailing Keri Nguyen.

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Linkedin  Youtube  

You are on this list as someone we think would be interested in partner updates about Help Me Grow Washington. Feel free to unsubscribe any time at the link below.