Help Me Grow excited to share services with community

| September 21, 2017

Help Me Grow’s home visiting team includes Rachel Murphy, Tisha King, Laura Parshall, and Shana Miller. To learn more about the organization, visit their booth at the Coshocton County Fair. Contributed | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Help Me Grow is a hidden gem in our community that Shana Miller wants to uncover for the community.

“People don’t realize what all we do,” said Miller, program director.

Rachel Murphy, home visit supervisor, said they serve pregnant moms to 3-year-old and their client base comes from self referrals or referrals from WIC, OBGYNs, and pediatricians. There also is a requirement to be eligible for WIC.

“People commonly think Help Me Grow just serves those who have disabilities or are delayed, but that’s just what we call our early intervention program,” Murphy said. “A lot of times people in the community think we just do physical or occupational therapy when we do home visits with our families, but there is so much more that happens. We always see a growth in our families and they learn so much like how to play more and bond.”

Bonding is something Help Me Grow can help families with even if they are not being faced with a physical or mental disability or delay.

“All of our families have goals they work on that are related to child development,” Murphy said. “Play is a big factor in working on the bond between parent and child.”

They work a lot on the importance of empathy.

“We work with teen moms who are just kids themselves and help them learn the importance of empathy when it comes to your children,” Miller said.

Murphy added that sometimes it’s difficult for parents of any age to show empathy.

“We have to teach it to them because they might not have been shown it in their life,” she said. “There are a lot of parents who went through traumatic experiences in their life and their child is the second generation affected by that. We try to cut off or prevent any possibility of abuse or neglect to stop JFS from having to get involved. We will partner with JFS though to help families.”

Miller added that home visits are a key part of what the Help Me Grow staff does.

“It gets mom or dad involved with the learning process and how to feel, bond and make attachments with their child,” she said.

Some of the lessons they work on are holding your child while you feed them and how that helps with brain development, picking them up and holding them and talking to them when they cry and taking the time to smile and laugh while dressing and diapering your child.

“Home visits are frontline social work, but they are very rewarding,” Murphy said. “Parents share their child with you and you become part of their lives and their milestones.”

A new service Help Me Grow is offering this year is its Baby Bucks program. Families working with Help Me Grow will receive coupons for certain dollar amounts when they complete tasks such as completing home visits, attending WIC appointments or taking their children to library programs. Those coupons can then be used by the families to “purchase” brand new items at the Help Me Grow store.

Help Me Grow is an Ohio Department of Health program and they contract with the Coshocton County Board of Developmental Disabilities for home visit services. The Help Me Grow office is located inside of Hopewell School. Anyone with questions is welcome to call 740-622-1552 ext. 3 or visit the Help Me Grow booth at the Coshocton County Fair.

“Our services are free and voluntary,” Murphy said.


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Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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