Making a referral to Help Me Grow is the first and easy step for parents who have questions or concerns about their infant or child. One referral to Help Me Grow opens the door to many programs that support families including Early Intervention, Home Visiting, Moms and Babies First.
If you are not the child’s parent, you may still make a referral. Help Me Grow will first contact the child’s parent before proceeding. A referral form can be completed on the Ohio Department of Health website.
In January of 2017, Senate Bill 332 established Help Me Grow as Ohio’s evidenced-based parent support program that encourages early prenatal and well-baby care, as well as parenting education to promote the comprehensive health and development of children. Additionally, the legislation required Help Me Grow to utilize only evidence-based or innovative, or promising home visiting models to accomplish the following goals:
- Improve maternal and child health;
- Prevent child abuse and neglect;
- Encourage positive parenting;
- Promote child development and school readiness
In March 2019 , Governor DeWine also announced the formation of a pilot program, Pay for Success, a public-private partnership aimed at increasing the availability of, and participation in, home visiting programs.
Governor DeWine will be asking the legislature to double the funding of Ohio’s home visiting programs, investing an additional $50 million over the biennium into evidence-based home visiting programs, bringing the total state funding for home visiting to $90 million over two years.
“Evidence-based home visiting programs help give children the best possible start in life and increasing participation can help lower infant mortality rates, increase kindergarten readiness and improve parenting skills,” said Governor DeWine. “Strong children grow into strong adults, so an investment in these proven programs is an investment in our state’s future.”
With innovative planning and strategies, we can continue to transform Ohio into a model of Early Childhood Education and Development success where:
All of Ohio's children will engage in high-quality early learning and healthy development experiences that prepare them for school and build a solid foundation for lifelong success.
Ohio is a leader, creating an environment where: families have the knowledge and resources to support their children's education and healthy development; children have access to high-quality early learning experiences led by skilled professionals; children begin school healthy and ready to learn; schools are ready to receive, educate, engage, and involve all children and families; public and private stakeholders partner to advance the early childhood vision; and communities and policy makers understand and actively support the development of young children.
More information can be found on the Bold Beginning website.
Help Me Grow Early Intervention
Early Intervention (EI) is a statewide system that provides coordinated early intervention services to parents of eligible children under the age of three with developmental delays or disabilities. EI is grounded in the philosophy that young children learn best from familiar people in familiar settings. Every family served in EI will have a local EI team that consists of a service coordinator, service providers, and your family. Your team works with you in your home or other places you and your family spend time to develop a coordinated plan called an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). You and your team will work through your IFSP plan to use your existing supports and resources—and build upon them—to learn to enhance your child’s learning and development. More information can be found on the Ohio Early Intervention website.
To get more information about Early Intervention (EI) in your county, contact your contract manager or Family and Children First Council coordinator by visiting the Ohio Early Intervention website.
Help Me Grow Home Visiting
Help Me Grow Home Visiting is a voluntary family support program for pregnant women or new parents. Offered in every county of the state through a well-established network, Help Me Grow Home Visiting is an evidence-based program that promotes healthy growth and development for babies and young children. Our home visitors are well-trained professionals who use a non-judgmental and compassionate approach that empowers parents with skills, tools and confidence to nurture the healthy growth of their children.
Help Me Grow Home Visiting believes all young children deserve the same opportunities to realize their full potential in life, regardless of economic, geographic, and demographic considerations. The parenting education and child development resources provided to families allows them to maximize this critical period of development in their child’s life, providing a foundation for lasting success.
When a parent schedules a home visit with Help Me Grow Home Visiting, they will have the opportunity to share to share their thoughts about parenting, ask questions, and receive reliable information based on their individual family needs or topics of interest. Topics may include, but are not limited to:
- Healthy Pregnancies
- Baby and Child Health
- Child Growth and Development
- Toilet Training
- Child Safety
- Household Safety
- Local Resources