Since children’s capacities develop at different times, periodic screening can identify developmental concerns. Different types of services can respond to delays and disabilities and help parents set children on a positive early growth and learning path. Many families understand the importance of developmental screening for young children at important times in their child’s early development when some additional supports and services can make a difference. They request developmental screens from their health care providers or complete a screen through at the Help Me Grow Washington website at Within Reach’s Parent Help 1-2-3, yet currently only 35% of children in Washington are believed to have had even one screen by age three.
The Help Me Grow Washington Partnership is convened by the Department of Health and supported by over 100 committed parents and professionals to make sure that all families know about the importance of screening and can access support. We have created a Common Agenda to drive forward the changes needed to make this a reality.
We are fostering change to ensure that:
- All families understand the importance of developmental screening for young children at important times in their child’s early development when some additional supports and services can make a difference
- Access to developmental screening is readily available online and in communities across Washington
- Early intervention and responsive services are available to all children who need further evaluation and care to reach their optimal development
The Partnership is part of the national Help Me Grow movement to build a system that reaches families in a variety of ways. We support pediatric primary care providers as the best place to complete and interpret a developmental screen and provide family-centered, comprehensive and coordinated care.
To ensure that we reach all children and identify developmental challenges early, community partners like early care and education providers, child care providers, schools and home visitors provide valuable help. They screen children who are being missed and connect them with a medical home for follow-up, further evaluation, and referral to responsive services. These screens also help parents and providers adjust their interactions and activities to promote optimal health and development of children at risk, even when no medical follow-up is necessary.
Because families experience many obstacles in accessing developmental screening, we are using a collective impact approach to ensure that our combined efforts add up to children’s success. Our Common Agenda provides guidance to partners as they align their actions and some “north stars” to see how we are doing. The strategies in the Agenda and the north stars are intended to help anyone in Washington who wants to help children succeed to align their work.
How We Do Our Work:
The Partnership’s Focus & Momentum Team oversees the strategic efforts of the Partnership and champions broad change. Action Teams composed of parents, physicians, child care providers, administrators and others meet monthly to implement our five strategies:
- Provider Education & Training – Support training, screening, early detection and intervention by providing outreach and training to child health care & early learning providers (ties to 1st national HMG core component).
- Community Outreach & Promotion – Reach all children and families with screening by raising awareness (ties to 2nd national HMG core component).*
- Centralized Access Network – Provide screening, responsive services and care coordination by promoting and building the system of access (ties to 3rd national HMG core component).
- Data Collection & Analysis – Strengthen systems and connections by collecting and analyzing data and identify gaps and barriers (ties to 4th national HMG core component).
- Policy and Public Funding – Improve public policy and funding for screening and services by advancing policy and funding agendas.
*This action team is on hold pending work in other action teams.
Download our Help Me Grow WA Common Agenda
- Join an action team where you can share your skills and passion
- Sign up to receive a periodic e-update
- Educate, advocate, and spread the word!
For more information, email Christine Stalie or call 360-236-3509