How does Help Me Grow support families with Plan of Safe Care notifications?

Help Me Grow Washington is a free service that connects parents and caregivers to an array of supports. It serves as the "go-to" place to learn about and access statewide and local resources for pregnancy and children ages 0-5. Help Me Grow can connect families to:

  • Food Stamps (Basic Food) and Food Banks
  • The Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • Lactation Support
  • Early Intervention Services
  • Home Visiting
  • Pregnancy and Baby Supplies
  • Health Insurance
  • Housing and Utility Assistance
  • Developmental Screenings
  • Addiction Recovery Resources
  • Mental and Behavioral Health Support
  • Legal Resources
  • Parenting Education and Support Groups
  • Child Care and Educational Opportunities
  • Transportation
  • Family-Friendly Activities

Who informed the design of Washington's Plan of Safe Care?

  • Health care providers: OBGYNs, Addiction Medicine specialists, certified midwives, nurse practitioners, hospital social workers, nurse managers, and other inpatient clinical staff
  • DCYF Child Welfare: Supervisors and Area Administrators, Program Managers, Regional Safety Administrators, Quality Practice Specialists, and other regional staff
  • Substance Use Disorder Treatment/Medication Assisted Treatment: Agency leadership, DBHR program managers, DBHR Medical Officer
  • Home Visitors: PCAP staff from various jurisdictions across the state
  • Tribal Partners: ICWA managers, Tribal representatives
  • Early Intervention Providers: Infant care managers
  • State agency partners: DCYF, DOH, HCA

How have federal legislative changes impacted infants exposed to substances during pregnancy?

Recent federal legislation has impacted Washington State policies related to infants who have been exposed to substances during pregnancy. The goal of the federal legislation and subsequent state policies is to support the infant's health, birthing parent and family through a Plan of Safe Care.

The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016 built on previous legislation in 2003 and 2010 to expand the framework for comprehensively addressing the opioid epidemic, including planning for the safe care of infants born with prenatal substance exposure, infants experiencing withdrawal symptoms at birth, and/or those impacted by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. The most salient changes require a state receiving Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) grants to:

  1. address the health and substance use disorder treatment needs of the affected infant and the infant's family or caregiver, and
  2. specify a system for monitoring the local provision of services in accordance with these state requirements.