Policy Resource

Strengthening Connections: Washington’s Help Me Grow Coordinated Access Point

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In 2010, Help Me Grow Washington was launched as a mechanism to focus on both developmental screening and coordination of services and supports for families who are pregnant or have children from birth through 5 years old. WithinReach is Washington’s state affiliate of the national Help Me Grow model. The organization leads expansion of the model, working with local communities to plan and implement Help Me Grow in a way that honors the unique needs and resources of their regions. It also serves as the statewide coordinated access point for families seeking support and maintains an online database of more than 6,000 resources.

Families with young children face significant barriers in finding and accessing services to meet their needs. A complex array of services exists across health, early care and education, economic assistance, and family supports.

In Washington, the state Department of Health wanted to create a universal developmental screening system that could share results between health care and child care providers. The agency convened partners from the Department of Early Learning, the University of Washington, and WithinReach to address the problem.

In 2010, Help Me Grow Washington was launched as a mechanism to focus on both developmental screening and coordination of services and supports for families who are pregnant or have children from birth through 5 years old. Through the coordinated access point, Washington is building a system that connects services and organizations to one another and families to the resources they need.

The state established this system to strengthen connections using the following approaches:

  • Help Me Grow affiliate
  • Statewide coordinated access point
  • Sub-affiliates with different approaches
  • Partnership with the state’s paid family and medical leave program

Read the case study to learn how Washington operationalized these approaches as well as lessons learned over the course of the work.

Interested in other states’ approaches? Read the other case studies in this series, here.