June 17, 2021

HMG WA Core Team Update

The Help Me Grow Washington Core Team is composed of representatives from the Washington Communities for Children (WCFC), Department of Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) and WithinReach. This tri-leadership team organically formed in late 2019 to support aligning multiple funding streams to deepen and expand Help Me Grow (HMG) across the state.

One prominent funding stream is the Preschool Development Grant; this grant is administered by DCYF and provides support to WithinReach in their work and responsibilities as the state HMG affiliate, and to WCFC to establish the people infrastructure necessary for early childhood coalition-building. Bringing together these three statewide entities’ unique strengths – including WithinReach’s knowledge and experience in family-centered resource and care coordination, WCFC’s early childhood champions and nimble mobilization and DCYF’s relationships and funding – has supported the continuing development of an interconnected statewide system; HMG’s many partners, including sub-affiliates, Action Teams and the WCFC network, ensure the system is rooted in community.

As it currently stands, the HMG-WA Core Team has taken on initial tasks of guiding the vision and strategy, connecting aligned local and state initiatives, mobilizing funding, building public will through messaging and supporting logistics. Given that the statewide work is deepening and strengthening, the Core Team recognizes the need to evolve the leadership structure to meet the need of the expanding HMG system. We don’t yet know exactly how this evolution will look, but we are currently in deep discussions to define our individual, organizational and collective roles in the work to identify what strengths and gaps exist in this current team structure. From there, we will work with the sub-affiliate leads, State Action Team specialists and WCFC Regional Leads to look at what structural reforms the Help Me Grow Washington ecosystem needs. As we dive into this period of reflection, we are committed to equity, shared leadership and transparency. We look forward to openly communicating with you along the way.