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Community Engagement Institute Partners with National Help Me Grow Center and KDHE

Across the United States families with young children needing assessment or developmental services are faced with a challenging maze of programs that are often not well-connected or organized. Too often this leads not only to frustration but could mean much needed services are denied to young children.

Thanks to a recent partnership between WSU’s Community Engagement Institute (CEI), the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE), and the nationally recognized Help Me Grow center, conditions will improve for Kansas families with young children. Beginning with an initial pilot project in select Kansas communities, families with young children will have the ability to access an integrated service system that helps them obtain available services.

Anne Maack, Coordinator for Early Childhood Initiatives at CEI states, “The earlier we can start meeting children’s needs, the better the overall outcome. Early detection and effective partnerships between community agencies ultimately mean a healthier, stronger Kansas.”

CEI is managing the state’s affiliate membership with Help Me Grow and will provide local communities with an integrated framework for addressing the need for early identification of children at risk for a developmental and/or behavioral problem.

In other states, Help Me Grow systems have improved access to services for children at risk, encouraged collaboration across sectors, and lowered costs. To launch this initiative in Kansas, CEI and its partners are hosting a Help Me Grow Summit in Wichita on December 7th. The Summit will give advocacy groups, providers, and families an opportunity to contribute to building a Kansas-specific solution.

For more information about the initiative, please contact Anne Maack at anne.maack@wichita.edu.