4 Children in grass“A grandmother called 2-1-1 with concerns about her three year old grandson stating that he was not speaking well and his behavior was getting worse. She was connected with Help Me Grow for assistance and care coordination. She began to discuss her living situation. The grandmother had custody of the child due to the mother being incarcerated. Grandma was going through a financial crisis so could not afford to buy her grandson any clothes or gifts for his birthday. She also mentioned going through a hard time because of a recent death in the family. The Help Me Grow Care Coordinator was able to connect them to Family Stabilization through The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay to provide birthday gifts, hygiene products, food, and clothing for the child and grandmother. The Care Coordinator conducted an ASQ-3, reviewed the results, gave the grandmother activities to work on with the child, and provided weekly follow up calls. Grandmother took the child to be screened by Child Find and he was found eligible. Her grandson started services through Child Find about a month later.”
— Kristin Seltzer, Program Coordinator, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay, Hillsborough County

“Interacting with families is one of the greatest experiences that I am able to obtain through Help Me Grow. Recently, I was able to do an on-site screening with a mother that was interested in seeing how her four year-old was doing. The mother was concerned because her child had some difficulties speaking and was showing behavioral concerns. I was able to interact with her and complete a developmental assessment with her child. Some of her concerns were valid, and I was able to give her some resources and information that I knew would benefit her. Mom was so happy and grateful for our services. A week later she called me back to tell me she had connected with one of the agencies and she was interested to set an appointment to enroll her child in Florida KidCare, as I had previously offered that as an option for her. She was able to come to the office in order to complete this application with my support. This continuous connection is exactly what Help Me Grow is all about; I look forward to following up with her in the future.”
— Shiran Smolevihe, Resource & Care Coordinator, Switchboard of Miami, Miami-Dade County

“As an educator, I have seen that Help Me Grow is fulfilling an important need of our community with the population it is serving. These are parents that have questions about their child’s development don’t know where to go for help, and luckily for them Help Me Grow is there to assist them. I commend them for their wonderful work.”
— Susan Davila, Assistant Principal & School Counselor

“I was talking to a mom that had a concern with her little girl. At the end of the screening, the mother thanked me so much and shared her appreciation for the call. She said that she hopes every child can get the type of help I was able to offer to her daughter.”
— Isabel Andrade, Volunteer, Switchboard of Miami, Miami-Dade County

“Help Me Grow has been a wonderful experience throughout my internship. This program, in my opinion, is excellent for the children population in our community. I have conducted face-to-face screenings and assessments via phone. It is rewarding to see children cooperate with you and to see how a family can obtain so much information about their child through a preliminary screening. Many of the families I spoke with could not believe what we had to offer and they were elated with the services provided. Many of them were not aware that these services were available in their community. Along the way, I have also created parent tip sheets in areas as an ongoing resource for parents, regarding commonly presented issues. Some of the areas of concern that I came across included parenting a child while going through a divorce, parenting shy children, as well as obesity and healthy eating for kids. I am happy to know that I have created something lasting in this program that will educate families in these areas and learn how to cope or deal with these matters.”
— Caridad Diaz Rodriguez, Intern, Switchboard of Miami, Miami-Dade County

“Volunteering with Help Me Grow has been the highlight of my semester! I have been able to work with so many different facets of the program that I feel I gained a wealth of knowledge. My favorite days are when we schedule visits to different child care centers and get to evaluate the kids face to face. Seeing how well the children complete the assessment as well as how happy they are to play with a “new friend” brings a smile to my face every time. Helping put together the Help Me Grow National Forum has taught me about event planning and has helped me reflect on the program and its’ mission. I am grateful to be a part of this amazing team!”
— Sarah Quigley, Volunteer, Switchboard of Miami, Miami-Dade County