Help Me Grow West Virginia is a FREE referral service that connects families with critical developmental resources for their children birth through five years. The goal of Help Me Grow is to successfully identify children at-risk and link them to the help they need.
Help Me Grow WV is part of a national program that connects families to resources right here in West Virginia. Early detection and connection to services lead to the best outcomes for children with developmental or behavioral challenges. Help Me Grow does not provide direct services. Rather, it is a system for improving access to existing resources and services for children.
Ultimately, Help Me Grow National’s goal is for all families to have knowledge of and easy access to statewide systems that support them in learning about their children’s developmental needs and finding appropriate services.
The four Core Components of a comprehensive Help Me Grow system are:
Child Health Care Provider Outreach: Given their critical role in child development, Help Me Grow staff members conduct targeted outreach to child health care providers through office-based education and training. The purpose is to educate and motivate physicians and other child health care providers to: 1) conduct developmental surveillance and screening of children from birth to age five; 2) use the call center; and 3) systematize developmental surveillance and screening and the use of Help Me Grow in their practices.
Community Outreach: A community presence encourages support for and participation in the Help Me Grow system and helps with marketing the service. It also facilitates gathering information to include in a resource directory and keeping the directory up-to-date. The resource directory includes at minimum:
- Primary and specialty medical care providers
- Early childhood education and child care programs
- Developmental disabilities assessment and intervention programs
- Mental health services
- Family and social support programs
- Child advocacy and legal services
Centralized Telephone Access Point: The call center serves as the “go-to” place for family members, child health care providers, and other professionals seeking information, support, and referrals for children. As part of their role, call center staff members provide education and support to families around specific developmental or behavioral concerns or questions, which include:
- Discussing various strategies the families may want to try;
- Helping families understand what is typical for a child at a given age
- Exploring what has been tried before and what has and has not worked
- Mailing information to families on specific topics
- Having families enroll their children in a developmental monitoring program, such as the Ages and Stages Child Monitoring Program
- Providing referrals to parenting and support programs
- Providing follow-up and advocating for families as needed
Data Collection: An annual analysis and summary report on available data help to assess how well the Help Me Grow system is working or what may need to be changed to improve or enhance the service. In addition, the data can be shared with funders and policy makers to guide their thinking around service delivery and to demonstrate how to best use resources to promote optimal child development.
The program is funded by the Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health, West Virginia Home Visitation Program.
For more information:
Help Me Grow WV
Office of Maternal, Child & Family Health, 350 Capitol Street, Room 427
Charleston, WV 25301
Hotline: (800) 642-8522