December 13, 2021
Help Me Grow Washington Serves Families Through Plan of Safe Care
Plan of Safe Care (POSC) is a new direct referral pathway that connects infants exposed prenatally to substances and their birthing parents to Help Me Grow Washington and other support services. The new program was officially launched on December 1 so that more families can get connected to vital resources in their communities.
Due to legislation changes in recent years, the population of infants requiring a POSC has expanded beyond infants exposed to illegal substances and now includes infants exposed to any substance. While the families that fall within this new eligibility do not warrant a referral to Child Protective Services, it is important that they have the supports necessary to mitigate risk as they bring their baby home and keep their family together and thriving.
If an infant is born exposed to substances but there are no safety concerns determined by the provider, they will be referred to Help Me Grow Washington for wraparound services and support. Services that families can get connected to include developmental screenings, food resources, mental and behavioral health support, free or low-cost health insurance, or pregnancy, parenting, breastfeeding and immunization resources. Follow-ups with families will also occur to address any additional needs and ensure access to resources were successful.
This initial partnership between POSC and Help Me Grow Washington will include 13 birthing hospitals across the state, with statewide implementation planned for early 2022. The Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families will also launch a POSC website in early 2022 where people can learn more about this program.