'Tis the season for cookie-baking and decorating! In addition to the festive cheer, our Help Me Grow network is hard at work building out the infrastructure and tools needed to help more Washington children and families connect to the resources they need to be healthy. Read our newsletter to learn more.

Help Me Grow Washington News
Upcoming Changes to Help Me Grow WA State Action Teams

Starting in January 2022, the State Action teams will transition from Help Me Grow (HMG) Washington to Washington Communities for Children (WCFC). Here’s what this will look like in practice: 

  • All six teams will continue in their current structure (aligned with the HMG WA components), yet the description of the teams will shift from “Action Teams” to “Learning Networks.”
  • The purpose of the teams will be to foster learning and connections across the state, with particular focus in each of the component areas.
  • While HMG will remain a focus of the teams, it will no longer be the primary reason for gathering. Rather, the shared purpose is around improving the wellbeing of children, families and communities broadly.  

  • Participation is open to anyone. You do not have to be part of WCFC to participate. This includes state and local partners who are interested in shared learning and activities in the component areas.

Hopefully this change will not disrupt how the teams have been functioning, but rather will provide clarity on scope and purpose. We see this is an opportunity to lean into Liberatory Design and into the next stage of this work. If you have questions about this change, please contact info@washingtoncfc.org
State Affiliate Staff Updates

The Help Me Grow Washington State Affiliate, WithinReach, has some exciting staffing updates:

  • Please join us in welcoming Katharine Alexander as the new Evaluation Manager! Katharine is most recently coming from completing her Master of Public Health at UW and brings a shared passion for WithinReach's mission to support parents and caregivers as well as a wealth of experience in quantitative and qualitative data and evaluation. 
  • The HMG Network Manager, Jackie Litzau, is moving into a new role called the Partnership Manager of Child Health. This role comes out of a new partnership with the Washington Department of Health on the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems grant. It will focus on strengthening relationships for statewide initiatives and supporting technical assistance on the local level. We’ll share more as this work gets underway. 

  • We are excited to share that Kathryn Steele will be transitioning into the HMG Network Manager role, which will now be called HMG Partnership Manager. She’s been with WithinReach as the Workforce Development Manager where she worked on professional development and capacity building for Early Support for Infants and Toddlers providers. In her new role, she’ll support sub-affiliate technical assistance as well as develop resources and supports that help the entire network of HMG partners. 
Partner Toolkit Launched!

The Help Me Grow Washington Partner Toolkit was created to provide communication tools to support partners. Highlights of the toolkit include universal and localized messaging about Help Me Grow – developed after an extensive statewide survey of more than 3,000 people – as well as social media graphics and flyers in both English and Spanish.
Help Me Grow WA Serves Families Through Plan of Safe Care 

Plan of Safe Care is a new direct referral pathway that connects infants exposed prenatally to substances and their caregivers to Help Me Grow WA services. The new program launched on December 1 in 13 birthing hospitals across the state, with statewide implementation planned for early 2022. Read more about this new opportunity to help families in our blog.
Help Me Grow National News
Help Me Grow 101 Video Launched

Watch the new video from the HMG National Center featuring founder, Dr. Paul H. Dworkin. The talk helps to explain what the HMG Model is, how it came to be, the problems it aims to solve, and how the HMG National Affiliate Network is working on behalf of young children and families across the country.
Help Me Grow Regional News
In Pierce County...

HMG Pierce's 2021 Community Data Report is now available! Take a look to learn about how children from pregnancy to age 5 are doing in Pierce County. Data includes indicators about family income, employment, education level, prenatal and child health outcome, access to child care, child welfare and more. 

In Central Washington...   

The HMG Central WA team was able to reach nearly 300 families and caregivers across Kittitas and Yakima counties in the month of October! Their outreach efforts at in-person and virtual events offered more opportunities to build awareness of HMG and of their Family Resource Navigator (FRN). The HMG Central WA number to reach the FRN is 509-490-3009. Stay tuned for a new HMG page on the Investing in Children Coalition’s website, where caregivers can learn more about HMG and get connected with Carina, the FRN. The page will be available both in English and Spanish.
Resources for Parents & Caregivers

  • The National Museum of African American History and Culture has a great resource for parents and caregivers called Talking About Race. Here you’ll find guided discussion, tools and videos about topics like bias, community-building, social identities and systems of oppression, and more.

  • Children have a lot of curiosity and sometimes it can be challenging to provide them with answers. Sesame Street put together a resource webpage that includes topics that range from building language skills to exploring emotions. Each topic has a page with activities or videos.
Send along ideas and resources for the Help Me Grow Washington website and future newsletters by emailing Taryn Essinger at taryne@withinreachwa.org.
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