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Help Me Grow Services Expand to Families Statewide

Help Me Grow Alabama is partnering with 2-1-1 call centers statewide, allowing every Alabama family the opportunity to make confidential calls regarding their child’s developmental or behavioral concerns. The Alabama Partnership for Children became a licensed affiliate of the Help Me Grow National Network in 2011 to implement this proven model supporting children’s optimal development by linking families to community-based programs and services.

With new funding from the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education, Help Me Grow Alabama is expanding to the nine 2-1-1 regions serving all 67 counties in the state. The United Way’s 2-1-1 Connects Alabama is a statewide network of regional call centers that provide free easy access to health and human services available throughout Alabama.

“Once implemented, every family in Alabama will be able to dial 2-1-1, ask for Help Me Grow Alabama and  speak with a care coordinator who will answer questions, connect them to services, follow up to ensure a connection is made and enroll them in developmental surveillance if interested” said Katie Naman, Help Me Grow Alabama Coordinator.

Nearly one-third of Alabama parents say they have a concern about their child’s health or development. Help Me Grow Alabama provides the critical service of identifying concerns early when interventions are less costly and more effective.  Health care and early learning providers also use Help Me Grow Alabama to refer families for additional assistance and developmental screenings.

Help Me Grow Alabama was originally launched through the United Way of Central Alabama’s 2-1-1 call center with funds from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. In 2014, Project LAUNCH provided additional funding to include The University of Alabama’s Child Development Resources Parenting Assistance Line and expand services to a total of 14 counties.

“We will be moving quickly in each new region, and we thank the pioneers in Central and West Alabama who have laid the foundation for us to follow” said Gail Piggott, executive director of the Alabama Partnership for Children.
In the coming months, the Alabama Partnership for Children and 2-1-1 Connects Alabama will begin hiring and training seven care coordinators to serve all nine 2-1-1 regions. The expansion includes the following 2-1-1 regions: 2-1-1 Information and Referral of North West Alabama in Florence, 2-1-1 HELPline in Huntsville, 2-1-1 First Call for Help in Gadsden, 2-1-1 Connects South Central Alabama in Montgomery, United Way 2-1-1 Community Connections in Auburn, United Way of Southwest Alabama in Mobile and Wiregrass United Way 2-1-1 in Dothan.

More information about Help Me Grow Alabama can be viewed here: http://www.alabamapartnershipforchildren.org/programs/?pageID=51

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Alabama Project LAUNCH PDI and Summit Presentations and Handouts

Alabama Project LAUNCH
Professional Development Institute
Strengthening Adult Capacities to Ensure
Children’s Optimal Development
May 3, 2016
Presentations and Handouts

Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Services

Presenter:  Dallas Rabig, LPC
Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant (I/ECMHC), Alabama Project LAUNCH


After the ASQ (Ages and Stages Questionnaire): Tools for Parents and Providers

Presenters:
Katie Naman
Help Me Grow AL Director
Jackie Navidad
Help Me Grow AL Professional Development Coordinator
Arkeisha Thomas
Help Me Grow AL Care Coordinator/Tuscaloosa


Reflective Practice – Relationship-Based Work

Presenter:  Dr. Sherry Heller
Associate Professor, Tulane University Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health


Alabama Project LAUNCH Summit:
Strengthening Adult Capacities to Ensure Children’s Optimal Development
May 4, 2016
Presentations and Handouts

Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems:  Working Together for Our Future

Presenter:  David Willis, M.D., FAAP
Director, Division of Home Visiting and Early Childhood Systems, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Building the Business Case for Investing in Young Children 

Presenter:  Nancy Fishman, M.S.
Deputy Director, ReadyNation/Council for a Strong America


Detecting and Buffering Toxic Stress Through Early Relationships

Presenter:  Jessica Richards, M.S., M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
Psychotherapist in Private Practice

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Home Visiting Advocacy Materials

The Alabama Partnership for Children (APC), with funding from the Alliance for Early Success, is creating opportunities to promote expansion and enhancement of Home Visiting (HV) services in Alabama, in coordination with the Departments of Early Childhood Education and Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention. Through engagement and guidance from the Home Visiting Advisory Board, the APC has prioritized education and advocacy about the needs and concerns of very young children in order to work towards a cohesive message about the importance of Home Visiting for all of Alabama’s children and families. Thus far, the work has resulted in the following resources:

The APC does not provide direct Home Visiting services, but by working with providers of the programs, as well as the agencies that support these programs and the communities and families that receive the services, the APC is linking stakeholders across the state to give Home Visiting a unified voice to better serve children and families and to emphasize the important and unique place for Home Visiting in the early education system.

For more information on the APC’s Home Visiting Advocacy work, contact Gail Piggott by email at gpiggott@alabamapartnershipforchildren.org or by phone at 1-866-711-4025.

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Young Child Wellness Expert Position Announcement

The Alabama Partnership for Children (APC), the state-level nonprofit agency focused on young children and their families, has an opening for a Young Child Wellness Expert (YCWE). Through a SAMHSA Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) grant, the AL Departments of Mental Health and Public Health are coordinating the initiative in partnership with the APC. The YCWE is a full-time (40 hours/week) position at the APC in Montgomery and will have primary responsibility for all state LAUNCH functions, as well as provide support to local LAUNCH partners in Tuscaloosa. With the LAUNCH staff, primary responsibilities include developing and managing the statewide advisory council, providing administrative and managerial oversight for partner contracts and services, managing an environmental scan, evaluation plan, strategic plan and related actions. YCWE will have primary responsibility for program development, implementation, and grant reporting. Minimum qualifications include a Master’s degree and a mix of experience in early childhood, mental health, health, systems development, and program administration. For consideration, please send a resume by email to kcurlee@alabamapartnershipforchildren.org or by mail to APC Employment, 2529 Bell Road, Montgomery, AL 36117 by January 10, 2017.
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Early Care and Education Industry Contributes $1.03 Billion Impact, More than 24,000 Jobs in Alabama

MONTGOMERY – A new report released today by the Alabama Partnership for Children (APC), in partnership with Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), demonstrates that the early care and education industry has a $1.03 billion impact on our state’s economy and is responsible for an average of 24,717 full time equivalent jobs. These findings, which were presented today at AUM, not only demonstrate that the ECE industry in Alabama is a critical sector of our economy in terms of its economic weight, but also its social influence.
This summer, the Alabama Partnership for Children commissioned AUM and M. Keivan Deravi, Ph.D., to determine the economic impact of the Early Care and Education industry on the economy of the state of Alabama.  Statistics presented in the report included licensed and exempt child care centers, family child care homes and group homes, state Pre-K and Head Start.  The APC commissioned this report to help determine the economic magnitude of the early care and education industry, and what its condition means to the economic well being of the state.

“We have known for years what young children need to develop optimally, but we have not fully understood how critical the early care and education industry is to our state’s economy”, said Gail Piggott, executive director of the Alabama Partnership for Children. “Not only do these programs provide employment in small businesses across the state, but they enable parents to go to work each day. In our state, 65 percent of children under the age of six have all parents in the workforce.  Comprehensive early care and education also lays the groundwork for Alabama’s future workforce, by preparing upcoming generations for school and work success.”

In terms of the early care and education industry’s social influence, M. Keivan Deravi, Ph.D, professor of economics at Auburn University at Montgomery and the economic assessment report’s author, notes the “unique feature of the early care and education industry is its potential for creating an enormous and long-lasting social economic benefit for society, at large. A well-funded and well-staffed comprehensive early childhood education program can produce significant positive externalities.”

The Alabama Partnership for Children has been the state’s leading voice for early care and education for over 12 years.  It strongly believes that it is important to support strengthening public investment in quality licensed early care and education, and encourages Alabamians to:

  • Learn more at www.alabamachildcarefacts.org
  • Support efforts to expand First Class Pre-K to more children in our state.
  • Establish and support the Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) across the state. QRIS provides early care and education facilities with programmatic, professional development and financial supports.  The system also provides parents with a framework to evaluate potential ECE facilities to make the best decision for their family.
  • Advocate that all early care and education programs are inspected for basic health and safety standards.

Click here to view PDF version of the full report: Economic Impact of the Early Care and Education Industry on the Economy of the State of Alabama.

Click here to view the Executive Summary.

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