Building A Help Me Grow System in Washington
Many kids face barriers that hinder their health, development, and learning opportunities. We request the legislature provide $5 million per biennium in ongoing funding to both build statewide capacity and also establish a grant program for community collaboration for Help Me Grow. Help Me Grow is a community-driven, resource and referral linkage system that connects young children and their families to appropriate services and community supports. Parents, caregivers, early learning, health and other service providers can call, text, or email Help Me Grow and connect to caring people who are highly trained in child development. Building and delivering a Help Me Grow system in Washington was included as a goal in the Fair Start for Kids Act that was passed by the legislature in 2021. This investment would take an important step in advancing that goal.
In addition to this request to help build out Help Me Grow in Washington, we also support an additional $500,000 per biennium to further build out a specialized pathway for Help Me Grow to serve as our state’s Plan of Safe Care, which connects families who give birth to infants with substance exposure without other risk factors to resources and services.