CHARLESTON, S.C. – A new tool developed to calculate the cost savings of Help Me Grow affiliates nationwide determined that Help Me Grow South Carolina generates an average of $3 in quantifiable savings for every dollar invested. These savings apply to areas like child welfare, criminal justice, early intervention, health care, special education and public assistance. Help Me Grow SC promotes the healthy development of children prenatal through age five in South Carolina by building on existing resources available to children and families. The system provides a single access point for answers to questions about child development and connections to a wide array of services and programs. “Navigating parenting with a child who struggles to control emotions appropriately is hard and I’m grateful there is a service to connect me with resources to not only help him learn more positive coping practices but that also gives me guidance on how I can become a better parent for him,” one Help Me Grow SC client shared. Help Me Grow South Carolina has been fully operational since 2012 and has connected almost 9,000 children and their families to community-based programs and services in that time. HMG SC uses the state’s only comprehensive, online resource database of developmental services and supports to assist families who can call toll free with questions or to be connected to resources. Parents are also able to visit helpmegrowsc.org online to complete a free developmental screening for their child. The new tool, developed by Help Me Grow National and Manatt Health, helps determine the quantifiable savings Help Me Grow affiliates provide to their state over the longer term. In 2019 alone, Help Me Grow SC reduced spending to special education and public assistance programs by $1.9 million. It accomplished this by coordinating services to maximize resources to ensure children and families receive the right supports efficiently. In doing so, HMG SC generates savings that accrue in both the short and longer term and create a positive return on investment. “The greatest cost saving opportunities happen at the youngest ages, when the child’s brain is undergoing the most growth,” Help Me Grow SC Director Jane Witowski said. “Keep in mind that not all of our services are quantifiable so it’s likely that the return on investment for Help Me Grow SC is actually much higher.” South Carolina Infant Mental Health Association, a multidisciplinary association of professionals working to promote nurturing relationships for infants, young children and their families, serves as the organizational home for Help Me Grow SC. Learn more about Help Me Grow and SCIMHA at http://www.scimha.org/help-me-grow.