It’s been two years since we launched Help Me Grow – Long Island. Just like watching a child grow, it is remarkable how much can change in such a short period of time. And like children our age, we spent our first 24 months learning to crawl and walk, and now we are ready to run.
Here are some of the milestones we’ve reached together:
655 families with 750 children were served by our Centralized Access Point
More than half of these families connected with us via their child health provider
Half of families are Spanish-speaking
An additional 950 children were screened by our 16 partner sites, for a total of 1,965 developmental and social emotional screens completed.
80% of families were successfully connected to services to meet their needs
47% of the needs identified by families were related to their child’s development
30% were “basic needs”, help accessing diapers, clothing, car seats and cribs for their children
Our resource database has grown to over 200 programs that serve families across Long Island in ways that help young children, such as promoting development, providing parental support, and addressing needs such as food, housing and clothing.
But these numbers pale in comparison to the stories we regularly hear from parents.
Like the family referred by their pediatrician with concerns about their child’s development; the pediatrician had been concerned for months, but had been unsuccessful connecting the family to services because of language and literacy issues. The child is now in a preschool special education program.
Or the mom, pregnant with her first child, who was stressed because she couldn’t afford a baby shower to obtain the items she needed when her child arrived. She was able to secure the necessities for her baby.
And the family whose child had a developmental delay, but was not prepared to start services until they had a stable living situation. They were able to connect with an organization that helped with that issue so they could focus on the their child’s developmental needs.
Thanks to the support and follow up of our HMG-LI Family Resource Specialists, we were able to help these families connect with Long Island services and resources they needed.
HMG-LI’s Bilingual Family Resource Specialists
As we look forward to what the next few years have in store, we are engaging in activities to promote the ongoing development of HMG-LI. This includes:
Supporting partner sites around developmental screening: in partnership with the Child Care Council of Nassau, Child Care Council of Suffolk, and QUALITYstarsNY, we have been piloting a learning collaborative model for early learning centers to integrate developmental screening and promotion into their work with families
Aligning with like-minded organizations: we are focusing our outreach efforts to Long Island’s Women, Infant and Children sites, with the goal of integrating developmental health promotion into communication with families
Using data for improvement: The HMG-LI partnership aims to make help easier to obtain for Long Island’s families by making the early childhood system work more seamlessly. A big part of this is taking what we learn – about how children are developing, what they need, and what they’re able or unable to access – and using it to improve processes, working with partners to address barriers, and advocating on Long Island’s behalf to funders and policymakers. That’s why we’re so excited about our first annual data report that will be made public in March! We are also partnering with Hofstra University School of Public Health to survey families about their experience and whether HMG made it easier for them to support their child.
So, happy birthday to you, Help Me Grow – Long Island! We can’t wait to measure you next year to see how much more you’ve grown!
by Dr. Elizabeth Isakson, Executive Director, Docs for Tots Edward Deming once said: “Every system is perfectly designed to get the result it gets.” . . . Read More
Children are born wired for feelings and ready to learn.
Docs for Tots is a non-profit, non-partisan organization led by pediatricians to promote practices, policies, and investments that will enable young children to thrive. Docs for Tots creates linkages between doctors, policymakers, early childhood practitioners, and other stakeholders to ensure that children grow up healthy. As doctors, we are action-oriented and deeply committed to improving the lives of young children and their families.