Kentucky’s H.A.N.D.S. supports families as they build healthy, safe environments for the optimal growth and development of children. Every child is wanted and cared for in a stimulating and nurturing environment.
Heath Access Nurturing Development Services providing support to parents, right from the start, right in their own homes.
Participation in the program is voluntary. Community outreach efforts are made to all pregnant women. Pregnant women are screened, as early in pregnancy as feasible, using a Universal Screening Tool for indicated “stress factors.” Women who screen positive have a family assessment completed using a Standardized Assessment Tool. Women who have a negative screen are advised of available parenting resources, if interested. Services are provided by protocol home visits; intensity may be increased/decreased based on need. Services focus on supporting the family, family-child interaction, child development and personal responsibility. Services are provided in a family-centered, culturally sensitive manner. Each family is assisted in securing a medical provider and receives preventive health education. Services are provided by trained and skilled staff who assists families in making decisions regarding their children. Services are available for the family until the child is two years of age. Plans are developed with the family to transition out of the program.
WHY should parents participate in H.A.N.D.S.?
Pregnancy and parenthood can be overwhelming experiences, which come with worries, questions, and stress.
During pregnancy a parent may wonder:
- "Are the feelings I'm having about my pregnancy typical?"
- "What physical changes and discomforts can be expected during pregnancy?"
- "What should I know before delivery and before bringing my baby home?"
- "How do I prepare my other child/children for the addition of a new sibling?"
After the child arrives questions may include:
- "How do I know what my baby needs when he or she cries?"
- "How do I help my baby and other children feel secure and loved?"
- "When should my child begin walking and talking?"
- "How important is a dad's role in a child's development?"
- "What is appropriate discipline?"
- "How do I balance everyone's needs in my family?"
WHAT can parents expect?
All families will receive information and learn about community resources for new parents.
Some families will receive further support through home visitation. Right in their home, these families will engage in fun activities to learn more about:
- Having a healthy pregnancy
- Caring for their baby
- How to bond with their child
- How to provide their child with enriching learning experiences
- Creating a safe and healthy home
- Community Resources
- Child Development
- Dealing with stress
WHO can participate?
Any new and expectant moms and/or dads can participate
- Absolutely no cost to families
WHEN can participation begin?
Participation in H.A.N.D.S. can begin during pregnancy or anytime before a child is 3 months old.
HOW has H.A.N.D.S. improved Kentucky families' lives?
Families who participated in H.A.N.D.S. (compared to families who did not participate) experienced:
- Fewer premature infants
- Fewer low birth weight babies larger than 5 lbs, 9 oz
- Fewer very low birth weight babies larger than 3 lbs, 5 oz
- Fewer developmental delays
Studies have shown that families who participate in H.A.N.D.S. in the first trimester of pregnancy experience even fewer incidence of the above.
Parents also reported improvements in the following:
- Home safety
- Support system
- Discipline techniques
- Anger management skills
- Coping skills
- Amount of stress
- All parents want to be good parents.
- All parents want their children to be healthy.
- 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 improve the community’s well being.
- Public and private partnerships are vital to a successful program.
Do you need some advice? Do you need a little help? Contact us. We are here to help you.
Pike County Health Department HANDS Program
606.509.5549 - HANDS@pikecountyhealth.com