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HANDS is a free and voluntary home visiting program available to all first-time parents. HANDS staff, which consists of registered nurses, social workers and paraprofessionals, visit families on a monthly basis and provide information on topics such as how to make the home safe for the child, how to care for the child, and how to measure the child’s development.
The HANDS staff also provides activities for parents and children to do together to stimulate brain development, and can refer parents to other social service and community agencies. Another aspect of HANDS is providing encouragement. Raising a young child can be stressful for first-time parents, and HANDS staff are available to provide extra support and reassurance for new parents.
HANDS services are available for families from before birth through age 2. Families must enroll in HANDS before the child reaches three months of age.
The Health Department contracts with Every Child Succeeds to provide HANDS services in Northern Kentucky.
The HANDS program was developed as a pilot program in 1998 and has expanded statewide since then. Almost 11,000 Kentucky families utilized HANDS services in 2006.
For more information on the HANDS program in Boone, Campbell, Grant or Kenton Counties, contact Every Child Succeeds. For information on HANDS in any other Kentucky county, contact the local health department.