The Kentucky Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) program is a voluntary home visitation program for any new or expectant parents. HANDS supports families as they build healthy, safe environments for the optimal growth and development of children.
What is the HANDS Program?
HANDS will support you throughout your pregnancy and the first two years of your baby’s life. From pregnancy to the terrific twos, HANDS is here to answer all of your questions during the different stages of your baby’s growth. 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 is brought right to the home.
Who Can Participate?
Any parent expecting a new baby and residing in Kentucky is eligible. Families must be enrolled during pregnancy or before a child is 90 days old.
When do HAND Services Begin?
Services can begin during pregnancy or anytime before a child is 3 months old. If interested, contact your local health department.
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 Expect?
- 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.
- 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 intervention improves community well being.
- Public and private partnerships are vital to a successful program.