Frequently Asked Questions

African American father and young daughter are laughing and jumping in their living room

You Play a Vital Role in Your Child’s
Developmental Health

We all want what’s best for our children. You’re not alone. HMG LA is here for you to help your child thrive. Help Me Grow LA connects all families to free or low-cost programs to help your child’s development. HMG LA also provides resources, tips and tools to help you support your child’s developmental milestones and skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

General HMG LA

Help Me Grow LA helps families find services that can support their child’s development. Families often have questions about their child’s development but don’t know where to go for help. HMG LA works with families to find resources and get services more quickly. When it comes to helping families, we can work together — providers, local agencies and the community — to do better. HMG LA improves the coordination of programs and services in local communities. First 5 LA and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are joining with partners to make sure all children get connected to the services they need.

Help Me Grow LA serves all families with children in Los Angeles County, and the providers who serve them.

HMG LA is for families and providers. The HMG LA call center connects all families to free or low-cost programs to benefit your child’s development. HMG LA staff has expertise in early childhood development, parenting, and family support, can help assess the needs of the child and family, inquire about other needs, and determine the best possible resources available.

No, there is no cost to access any of HMG LA’s resources.

There are no eligibility requirements. HMG LA is available to any family looking for developmental, learning or behavioral resources for children in Los Angeles County.

HMG LA is available to any family looking for developmental, learning or behavior resources for children in Los Angeles County. There are no eligibility requirements and no cost to families.

No. There are no eligibility requirements. HMG LA is available to any family looking for developmental, learning or behavior resources for children in Los Angeles County.

Yes, we follow all HIPAA guidelines for protecting confidential child and family information.

We have team members who speak English and Spanish. For all other languages, we have live interpretation services available by phone at no cost.

Our call center is open from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. You can leave a message 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and we will return your call within two business days. You can also access our self-search database of community resources 24/7 at 1Degree.org.

Many times, you will get information during the initial call. If more research is needed, we will follow up with you within two business days.

HMG LA recommends providers use a standardized screening tool designed for use by parents, early educators and health care professionals. The tools rely on parents as experts, are easy to use, family-friendly and create a snapshot needed to celebrate milestones and capture delays.

Referrals to Services and Programs

The self-search OneDegree database has lists of people and agencies that can give you information and provide help for your child. You can create a free One Degree account where you can look for information yourself, or with the help of a HMG LA resource liaison. You can fill out the referral form [the client referral form] or call us at . You can also contact your local Early Start Family Resource Center for support. Family Resource Centers offer peer-to-peer support, information, and training. Most staff are parents of children with disabilities. They understand your concerns and experiences getting the best help for your child.

Yes. Regional Centers provide different services than health insurance does. There is no financial requirement in the process of being evaluated for Regional Center eligibility.

No, you do not need to prove citizenship to be eligible for Regional Center Services.

Each child develops and learns at their own pace. The self-search OneDegree has lists of people and agencies that can give you information and provide help for your child. You can create a free One Degree account where you can look for information yourself, or with the help of an HMG LA resource liaison. If you need help you can fill out the referral form [the client referral form] or call us at . You can also contact your local Early Start Family Resource Center for support. Family Resource Centers offer peer-to-peer support, information, and training. Most staff are parents of children with disabilities. They understand your concerns and experiences getting the best help for your child.

Early Start helps children who may have a developmental delay. Early intervention services can help children with their development. Some children will “catch up” while others may always have a delay or disability.

The eligibility for Regional Center changes when a child turns 3. Before a child’s third birthday, the Regional Center will see if your child is still eligible. If yes, your child can continue to receive Regional Center services (also called Lanterman Act services).

Many parents feel that the most important thing is to get help for their child. Sometimes this means getting a diagnosis (“label”), but the diagnosis can actually help a child get services and supports they need.

Regional centers provide a free assessment to see if your child is eligible for services. They provide (or help get) the services and supports a child needs. Most services and supports are free regardless of age or income.

Regional Centers do not have insurance requirements, but they are something called “the payor of last resort”. This means that if there is another way to pay for service, for example special education, Medi-Cal or private insurance, then you must use that to pay for the service. If there is no other way to pay for the service, then Regional Center may pay for it.

The timeline for children ages 0 to 3 years is about 45 days from the time of the first call with a Resource Center intake specialist, or 120 days for a child aged 3 and older.

Learn the Signs. Act Early from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has free materials and an app to help parents (and professionals) learn about developmental milestones and how to support a child's development. You can also watch videos on development for your child's age on YouTube.

For more information or to access the screening tools and resources mentioned above, visit our Resource page.

RESOURCES PAGE

Help Me Grow LA helps families that can support their child's development.

FAMILY AND CAREGIVER HELP FORM

Taking care of young children brings more stress when you have concerns about your child’s development or when your family needs help with basic needs. COVID-19 has brought changes to our world that are challenging for everyone. Help Me Grow LA can connect you with someone trained to answer your questions and find help and services in your community.

Check all that apply.
I have a question/concern about a child's development.
A smiling Asian mother holds her toddler facing his smiling grandmother