What is HANDS?

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Health Access Nurturing Development Services is a federally approved home visiting program for parents that are expecting a baby or have a new baby. It has been in existence since the year 2000 and is an evidence based program offered in every county across the state of Kentucky. Statistics are continuously compiled to show the benefits of having a home visitor during pregnancy and the early years of a child’s life. A family can be enrolled at any time during the pregnancy and until the baby reaches 3 months of age.

HANDS is a “fee for services” program paid via a designated allocation from Medicaid, set aside specifically for HANDS, also, by a Ky. State Grant and MIECHV (Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting) grant.

Moms and/or Dads are referred from lots of sources, such as the parents themselves, health department clinics, a doctor, hospital, friend or neighbor. Anyone who knows someone that is expecting a baby can contact their local health department, ask for HANDS and submit a referral. There is no financial or education boundaries for enrollment into HANDS.

Once a referral is received, a survey is scheduled and completed and the family is assigned a HANDS Family Support Worker, who will visit with the family once weekly, at a scheduled visit time.

During a visit, we teach a lesson from our Growing Great Families or Growing Great Kids teaching curriculum; providing the family with handouts specific to their lesson. Often times we create crafts with the mom that corresponds with the curriculum that is being taught. Many of our families describe HANDS as a fun, learning experience that also provides the family with much needed support. Often times, we refer the family to other community resources that help them meet their needs.

The primary goal of HANDS is healthy mom, healthy baby and healthy family.

LCDHD HANDS remains the largest provider of HANDS services in the state, with almost 600 families currently enrolled.