Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Guest Post: Why I Choose Help Me Grow

In 1974, my mother found herself a young single mother of four children. When my father left our family, my mother was uneducated and thousands of miles away from her family and friends. Too ashamed and financially unable to go home, my mother did the best she could with her limited resources. I used to wonder what she could have done on those days when she was struggling with the challenges of being a parent and then I learned about an amazing program called Help Me Grow.

In the many years I’ve been teaming with Help Me Grow Utah, I’ve seen for myself how different my mother’s life could have been if she had been connected to this wonderful program. Help Me Grow is helping improve the lives of children and families, not just in Utah, but all over the nation. I’ve had the privilege of teaming with Help Me Grow at Halloween events, health fairs, library story hours, child care center family events and many other activities throughout Utah.

Every Help Me Grow event I’ve attended has one thing in common. This program truly puts the “care” in care coordination. By listening to each family’s story, Help Me Grow builds upon each family’s unique strengths while providing the community and informational resources needed. And thanks to the continued weekly follow-up and the knowledge that families are a child’s best teacher and support system; families and communities are becoming stronger.

One thing I’ve learned in my many years working in government at the local, state, and now national level, is there are a lot of programs in our communities. Help Me Grow is not about creating new resources. Rather it is about connecting individuals to the existing services and supports which meet the family’s needs. Help Me Grow is helping to improve collaboration and coordination in communities, proving there is not one doorway for families to enter through to get the needed help and services; but many. I have seen firsthand how Help Me Grow can break down silos within communities and bring organizations and families together to work for the best possible outcomes.

In addition to truly caring about children and families, I’ve also seen how committed the Help Me Grow Utah team is to improving. Through an intensive marketing research project last year, Help Me Grow Utah has been able to adjust services to meet the needs of Utahans. For example, Help Me Grow Utah continues to innovate by expanding resources and referrals into the much needed prenatal sector. This commitment to bringing childhood to life by improving Utah’s statewide system is one of the many reasons I fully support Help Me Grow Utah!

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