A variety of services, programs and resources exist in Tarrant County to support families and children. Navigating those resources is not always easy or clear for families.

That’s where Help Me Grow North Texas comes in. While parents support their children, Help Me Grow North Texas is designed to support parents.

“We’ve enhanced our partnership to form Help Me Grow North Texas because we all believe that making families stronger and healthier makes our community stronger and healthier,” said Faith Rivera, Pritzker fellow at Tarrant County Public Health. “The partnership will help families celebrate their child’s milestones in development and link them to services that can help address any needs or concerns.”

The Early Learning Alliance hosted a launch event for the first Help Me Grow affiliate in Texas on Friday, Sept. 20 at the Shamblee Branch of the Fort Worth Public Library. The ELA partnered with My Health My Resources of Tarrant County, Help Me Grow National Center, National League of Cities, local and state elected officials, and early education organizations across the state.

The national Help Me Grow system model fits all Tarrant County collaborations, initiatives, agencies and programs available. Over the last five years, these groups have included representatives and leaders from all early childhood sectors, such as health care providers, home visiting programs and childcare agencies with the goal of helping children and families reach their potential. Thirty states have Help Me Grow to organize and leverage resources.

Help Me Grow North Texas promotes early developmental monitoring and screening via a centralized access point for all parents and children, as well as outreach through community organizations and health providers. By calling 844-NTX-KIDS, parents and caregivers will soon have access to staff that will answer questions about child development and parenting, assist in monitoring their development, and connect them to community resources they may need.

Staff will be an ally for parents by following up with them in order to assure their needs were met and concerns addressed. They too, just like parents, know that parenting is hard and helping families navigate through the early years is key to supporting parents and making our community and children thrive.

Help Me Grow North Texas will continue to collaborate with and across agencies, programs, and systems that service Tarrant County families and children. The ongoing efforts will continuously be rolling out new strategies to improve services, processes and partnerships, giving the community the ability to support families in celebrating and monitoring their children’s developmental milestones and to connect them the resources needed to raise resilient, successful children.

If you are or know anyone that is a parent or caregiver is:

  • Looking for information on child development or parenting
  • Has a child in need of community resources, but you are not sure how to access them
  • Looking for some developmental activities to do with your children at home

Contact with Help Me Grow North Texas at 844-NTX-KIDS or HelpMeGrowNorthTexas.org for help, community resources and free developmental screenings. If you know of or are part of an organization or agency that serves North Texas children and their families and interested in connecting to the work being done, please connect with Kathy Houston, Help Me Grow coordinator at 817-774-4535.

The leadership of Help Me Grow North Texas includes the Early Learning Alliance, My Health My Resources of Tarrant, Tarrant County, the City of Fort Worth, UNT Health Science Center, and the Tarrant County Infant Health Network. Additional collaborators include local medical providers, home visiting programs, early intervention programs, childcare providers and nonprofits within Tarrant County.

By Art Garcia

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