Hozloogo Jinooseet or Growing in Beauty accurately defines the Navajo Nation's desire for ALL Navajo children to grow into beautiful individuals, within an environment of caring, family, and harmony. Growing in Beauty's goal is to assist Navajo families who have a child with a disability with early intervention services. Early intervention services are designed for children between birth to five years of age to eliminate or minimize long-term developmental delays.
The Navajo Nation's "Growing in Beauty" program is part of the Dine' Division of Education. The program was established to provide early intervention services to children with disabilities ages birth to 6. The Navajo Nation has an intergovernmental agreement with the Navajo Area Indian Health Services (IHS) to coordinate services in the areas of Child Find, interim service coordination, advocacy, and early intervention services. The Navajo Nation has 13 interim service coordinators and 2 parent coordinators hired at the IHS Service Units under the Navajo area.
The Navajo Nation utilizes its interim services coordinators at the IHS hospitals and health stations to coordinate services in the areas of: Child Find, interim service coordination, advocacy, and early intervention services. In addition, the Navajo Nation has agreements with the Arizona State Department of Education, the Department of Economic Security (DES) Arizona Early Intervention Program (AZEIP) the New Mexico State Department of Education and the San Juan school District for Utah Navajo children between the ages of three and five. The Navajo Nation assists the responsible State education agency in implementing early childhood special education and related services by providing supplemental funding and coordination of services. Additional supplemental funding is provided in meeting the needs of children in rural and remote locations of the Navajo Nation.
The New Mexico Part C Early Intervention Program, which is known as the Family Infant Toddler (FIT) Program, has over the years developed a strong working relationship with the Navajo Nation Growing In Beauty Program. It is a relationship born of mutual respect for each other's program and a belief that by working together Navajo families can receive quality early intervention supports and services. The relationship comes from spending the time needed to get to know each other's program.
A person from Growing In Beauty sits on the NM Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) and a FIT staff person attends the annual Tri-State Steering Committee that Growing In Beauty brings together. Growing in Beauty staff attend trainings and meetings sponsored by the FIT program and are viewed as one of the network of providers in New Mexico even though their funding does not go through the state.
The Growing In Beauty has done a good job of identifying how they can utilize their IDEA funds to support the state in the provision of early intervention services by focusing on interim service coordination, family training, child find and public awareness. The cultural understanding and community connections of Growing In Beauty staff enable them to carry out these functions more effectively than outside contracted provider agencies, thus resulting in the timely referral of children with or risk for developmental delays and the families.
Powerpoint presentation on Growing in Beauty (note: Link will open in new window)