Dear Help Me Grow Washington Network,

Welcome to our first email newsletter! We are excited to start sharing regular updates on Help Me Grow efforts and to highlight relevant and timely resources. We hope this note finds you and your loved ones safe and well. 

We would like to take a moment to pause and acknowledge the realities we face as a country. This moment demands a shift in what we prioritize, the way we behave, how we communicate and how we connect. We are all living in times of uncertainty and loss, and it is clear that Black communities and communities of color are experiencing disproportional loss, with higher rates of severe illness, death, jobs, and as targets of hate crimes and racism. We are also witnessing the strength and resilience of Black leaders and communities organizing for change. It is a call to all of us to stand up for the safety and well-being of all families and children, particularly families of color. 

Help Me Grow is an opportunity it offers equitable access to resources for all families. As we continue to design the Help Me Grow Washington system, it is paramount that we take this opportunity to lead with equity and racial justice. Not just as a box to check or template we create, but with authenticity and integrity.

If at any time it feels like we are not building a better system through this work, we must be held accountable. This is our chance, and our responsibility, to build something different. We know many of you have taken great strides to integrate equity into the planning and implementation of resources and supports for families, as well as Help Me Grow system-building. We seek to highlight the great work across our network in this newsletter and on the HMG WA website .
Please send along updates to include on the Help Me Grow Washington website and in future newsletters. Email Taryn Zier at with your ideas and resources!
Introducing the Help Me Grow Washington Core Team!

WithinReach is working in shared leadership with Washington Communities for Children and the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families to guide the design and development of a vision and spread and scale plan for a unified Help Me Grow Washington. Along with developing the Help Me Grow Washington Leadership Council, this Core Team promotes practice and policy recommendations that align with statewide early childhood initiatives and build a shared vision for an equitable Help Me Grow Washington system.

Leadership Council & Help Me Grow Action Teams
Are you interested in being part of designing and building an equitable Help Me Grow system in Washington? Join us for a one-hour  webinar on July 1 at 1:00 p.m.   to learn about opportunities to get involved. Participants will learn about the new structure, including the role of HMG action teams (Coordinated Access, Family & Community Outreach, Child Health Provider Outreach, Data & Evaluation, Advocacy, and Equity) and the Leadership Council. All are welcome! Registration is requested. 
Child Trends Infrastructure Considerations

Funded by the Preschool Development Grant , the Help Me Grow Washington Core Team is partnering with the nonprofit, nonpartisan research center Child Trends to identify considerations in designing statewide infrastructure that supports and integrates with local communities’ HMG systems. Child Trends is engaging cross-sector stakeholder input on the conditions for success of a statewide system. (To those who have participated, thank you for your time and perspective. The interviewer commented on your passion and engagement!)

Next steps of the project include a scan of existing statewide or regional resource and referral entities, and identifying technological considerations for a high quality, sustainable information and referral system for families. We will continue to provide updates as the project unfolds.

Early Childhood Framework

Washington Communities for Children (WCFC) has integrated Help Me Grow as an early childhood framework. In April, WCFC regions mapped early childhood activities happening in communities all across Washington, according to the Help Me Grow framework. The exercise was one step in deepening our state and local partnerships, and ensuring we build a connected early childhood system throughout Washington. To see the mapping tool used by regions, click here

Statewide Coordinated Access Point

The statewide Coordinated Access Point experienced a surge in calls and online applications for food resources, health insurance applications and other basic needs as COVID-19 struck. The call volume has doubled, with many families experiencing food insecurity and uncertainty about how to access resources. Finding help is hard, but Help Me Grow Washington makes it easier!

Help Me Grow National Forum Goes Virtual

The 2020 Help Me Grow National Forum is scheduled for August 10-12 . The presenters and workshops will be held virtually over three half-day sessions. Visit the Help Me Grow Washington website to learn more, and save the date!
COVID-19 Resources

WithinReach is working in shared leadership with the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families and Washington Communities for Children to guide the design and development of a vision and spread and scale plan for a unified Help Me Grow Washington. This newsletter will promote Help Me Grow efforts and share relevant state and local communications, resources and updates across the network.
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