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What is the HANDS Program?

The Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) program is a voluntary home visitation program for new and expectant parents. Families begin by meeting with a HANDS parent visitor who will discuss any questions or concerns about pregnancy or a baby’s first years. Based on the discussion, all families will receive information and learn about resources available in the community for new parents.

Some families will receive further support through home visitation. That’s right – information brought right to your home.

Who Can Participate? All first-time moms and/or dads residing in Kentucky. The program is provided free of charge to all parents.

When do HAND services begin? Services can begin during pregnancy or anytime before a child is 90 days old.

Why Participate in HANDS? • Parents are the most important people in a baby’s life • Parents are the first and most important teachers a child will ever have • Parenting is a very demanding job, and all parents have worries, questions, and stress

What can parents eExpect? • Support through your pregnancy and the early years of your baby’s life • Ways to make your home safer for your baby • Information on how to care for your baby • Facts that will let you know your baby is growing and developing in healthy ways • Activities that you and your baby can enjoy together that can stimulate your child’s brain development • Access to other community services

What are the main goals of HANDS? • Healthy pregnancies and births • Healthy child growth and development • Healthy, safe homes

• Self-sufficient families

How does the program work?

In the prenatal period the family is screened after a referral is made. This referral can be made by the doctor’s office, the health department, your church, friends or family. A trained home visitor will visit your home to introduce parenting skill development in areas such as recognizing your baby’s needs, what to expect as your baby grows, making your home safe, etc. The frequency of visits will be determined by the family’s needs.

HANDS believes: • All families have strengths. • Families are responsible for their children. • Families are the primary decision makers regarding their children. • Communities recognize their roles in children’s lives. • Communities recognize that all children must succeed. • Prevention and early intevention improves the community’s well being. • Public and private partnerships are vital to a successful program.

For more information, contact the Woodford County Health Department at 873-4541.

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