February 10, 2023

Help Me Grow Washington Strategic Planning Update

Happy New Year from the Help Me Grow Washington team – hope your 2023 is off to a joyful and healthy start! As some of you know, we recently distributed some of our key learnings from the Listening Sessions (that took place from October through December 2022) along with an initial draft of our six strategic focus areas.

What we heard from the Listening Sessions was energizing and encouraging – stakeholders see HMG WA’s ability to serve a unique unmet need for families with young children in Washington state. The need for coordinated statewide efforts and a flexible model that adapts to the local context and existing systems within a community were also raised. We heard from health care providers, child care providers, local/county/regional early childhood coalition leads, local navigators and coordinators, families and caregivers, state agencies, and more.

We understand that across Washington state, there are distinct sub-groups and populations with diverse and complex support needs, and many of you whom we spoke with understand the local diversity and dynamics better than us. There are opportunities to elevate the service gaps in local communities, look for ways to share resources across geographies, and coordinate funding requests while aligning to shared goals and outcomes. We also heard that many stakeholders across the state see disparate pieces of HMG WA, but we need to do a better job at communicating the full range of system offerings and better articulate What is HMG WA?

From December 2022 to January 2023, the HMG WA strategic planning group underwent a series of co-design sessions where we coalesced around six strategic focus areas: 1) coordinated advocacy and policy efforts, 2) funding and sustainability for local communities, 3) onboarding, training, and technical assistance, 4) spread and scale, 5) data collection and use, and 6) Coordinated Access Point(s), in order to better define What is HMG WA? What do we want it to look like in the future, and who does it benefit/what is the value-add (for families, caregivers, children, system partners, and local communities)?

We are now in the process of refining a vision and shared purpose for the HMG WA system, and planning out strategic priorities and aligning on timing of when initiatives will occur in our five-year strategic plan. Our current focus is to draft a working proposal on how the HMG WA system will be governed, the key governance entities, where and what decisions are made by which groups, and how we coordinate and align to share impact goals. Our goal is to strengthen the HMG WA system and grow it in a meaningful way that best supports the needs of families and children in Washington.

While we are currently working through existing channels of communication through our system partners in a two-way communication process in providing information and soliciting feedback asynchronously, we also continue to expand our network and communication channels and build new partnerships. So, if you as an individual, organization, or coalition want to get involved or learn more about HMG WA, please reach out. If you would like to participate and provide input or feedback into the current strategic initiative and/or governance discussions, please send a note directly to