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Help Me Grow Washington News

Help Me Grow WA Strategic Planning Update

Help Me Grow Washington is in the process of refining a vision and shared purpose, as well as planning out strategic priorities and alignment of initiatives in a five-year strategic plan. Read the full update on our progress to date.

Help Me Grow WA Tribal Adaptation Project Update

In April of 2022, WithinReach, the HMG WA State Affiliate, contracted with a Native-owned firm in Spokane, Kauffman and Associates Inc., to engage with tribal nations and Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) in Washington to work toward ensuring the HMG model embraces each UIO and respective tribal community in a culturally responsive way. We were inspired by the work in Alaska and Minnesota, where tribes have adapted some of the HMG components, such as child developmental screenings and family outreach messages, to align with tribe-specific values and culture, including language.


In the coming months, Kauffman and Associates will provide a recommendation report outlining adaptations to Help Me Grow, centering the voice of American Indian and Alaska Native families with young children. This will also include an outreach and engagement plan, which will be used to inform the next phase of HMG WA network design and resource navigation processes.

Resource Finder Update

WithinReach is close to launching a new ParentHelp123/Help Me Grow Resource Finder. It will have a better interface and improved search functionality. In addition, the Data Systems & Evaluation Team at WithinReach is working on a database update project that will provide more up-to-date and inclusive data to better serve families and providers in the new system.

State Affiliate Update

Over the past few years, the HMG WA Network has grown in partnerships and is nearing completion of a statewide strategic plan. Additionally, WithinReach, the HMG WA State Affiliate, is advocating at the state level for funding to support and expand our statewide role, as well as local systems building. 

Understanding that there is a need for additional capacity to meet the current and anticipated HMG WA system requests, WithinReach has made a few staffing updates:

  • Taryn Essinger was promoted to Director of Communications and Development
  • Charley Rawlings was hired as the new Communications and Outreach Manager, and
  • Lark Kesterke was promoted to Director, Help Me Grow Washington Network.

All three roles are intended to bring added support to local communities and partners as the Help Me Grow system spreads and scales across Washington. 

We Have a New CDC Ambassador!

Chris Gray, Pregnancy & Early Childhood Development Manager on the Coordinated Access Team at WithinReach, has been selected as the "Learn the Signs. Act Early" (LTSAE) Ambassador for Washington State. In this role, Chris plans to build relationships across the state and promote LTSAE tools and developmental milestones and screening. LTSAE resources are free; please reach out if you are interested! 

Help Me Grow Regional News

Skagit and Central WA Referral Forms

Help Me Grow Skagit and Help Me Grow Central WA have both launched online referrals for providers to use to refer children and families to their local Family Resource Navigators. Huge thank you to Skagit Pediatrics and the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic-Grandview for being the first to try out the forms and for their helpful feedback.

The referral form for Skagit is available here and the form for Central WA is available here. You can also find their forms and other referral options for all HMG WA systems on the Help Me Grow WA website.

Also in Skagit County

Skagit County is hosting a Child Development Series for Medical Professionals. This Zoom series does a deep dive into child development, screening options, referral sources, and more. This free series will be held on the third Thursday from January through May, ending with an in-person event on June 8th. Register here for this series.

Resources to Share

  • Help Me Grow National Resource: Strengthening Families and Supporting Caregiver Goals: A new paper from the Center for the Study of Social Policy describes how the HMG Model aligns with the Strengthening Families Approach and Protective Factors Framework, and the ways in which HMG affiliates use Strengthening Families as they support parents and caregivers in working toward their goals for their children, families, and themselves. 

  • IDEAS Impact Framework: The Harvard Center on the Developing Child developed a new toolkit focused on program development and evaluation for early childhood professionals. Check out the toolkit and a blog about this work.

  • Sign up for our parent/caregiver newsletter! Click here to see our latest newsletter and to add your email to the list!

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

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