Help Me Grow logo2-1-1 Brevard is leading a new coalition of local nonprofits in a mission to expand early behavioral and developmental screening through program called Help Me Grow.
HMG is national model to connect at-risk children with the services they need. Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget this year includes $4 million to help maintain HMG programs in seven regions in Florida and expand throughout the state under the leadership of 2-1-1’s.

“We had been looking at how we can better serve special populations, such as young children, veterans and older adults,” said Libby Donoghue, 2-1-1 Brevard executive director. “We want to increase our impact in the community, and this a significant opportunity.”
Among those in the local partnership: Early Learning Coalition of Brevard, Scott Center for Autism at Florida Tech, Healthy Start Coalition of Brevard, Space Coast Early Steps, United Way of Brevard/Healthy Families and Parrish Medical Center.
2-1-1 Brevard expects to be awarded a $20,000 planning grant that comes from $2 million allocated for HMG by the Legislature in 2014.
“That would position us to be ready to apply to launch a Help Me Grow initiative in Brevard if the $4 million in the governor’s budget gains legislative approval,” Donoghue said.
Under HMG, 2-1-1 Brevard and partner agencies would work to increase awareness among health-care providers and parents of the need for screening for developmental and behavioral issues in early childhood. 2-1-1 also would help connect families with resources for screening and follow-up.
From the Help Me Grow website: “Early detection and connection to appropriate services lead to the best outcomes for children with developmental or behavioral challenges. Help Me Grow builds collaboration across sectors, including child health care, early care and education and family support.”