(Dover, Ohio) – Beginning in Early 2020, the Tuscarawas County Health Department (TCHD) will begin to offer Help Me Grow home visiting services, an evidence-based program that promotes healthy growth and development for babies and young children from birth to age three.
Through Help Me Grow, professional home visitors will meet with pregnant women or new parents to empower them with the skills, tools, and the confidence they need to nurture the healthy growth of their children. Help Me Grow is funded through the Ohio Department of Health.
In October, Health Commissioner, Katie Seward, worked with the Tuscarawas County Board of Health to research the Help Me Grow home visiting program after learning that Ohio Guidestone (PFCS) would be discontinuing the service at the end of this year. The goal was to ensure Tuscarawas County families would not have to go without this vital parenting education and child development resource. “We are thrilled to begin offering Help Me Grow services to support parents in raising happy, healthy children,” shared Seward. “Parents who schedule a free home visit will be able to share their thoughts about parenting, ask questions, and receive reliable information based on their family’s specific needs.
Additionally, Help Me Grow is a natural fit for our health department since we also offer other programs to support area families such as our car seat and safe sleep education classes, annual community baby shower, and the WIC program.”
In a news release from March 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine noted the following about the Help Me Grow Program, “Evidence-based home visiting programs help give children the best possible start in life and increasing participation can help lower infant mortality rates, increase kindergarten readiness, and improve parenting skills. Strong children grow into strong adults, so an investment in these proven programs is an investment in our state’s future.”
Help Me Grow home visiting services are available to pregnant women or new parents of young children from birth to age three. Topics covered during a typical home visit include healthy pregnancies, baby and child health, breastfeeding, nutrition, immunizations, child growth and development, discipline, toilet training, child safety, household safety, and local resources. For more information or to schedule a Help Me Grow home visit for yourself or a loved one, email HMGreferrals@helpmegrow.org or fill out an online referral form at https://odhgateway.odh.ohio.gov/ochids/public/refer .