Annual HANDS event held

Published 12:23 pm Thursday, October 26, 2017

The HANDS Program (Health Access Nurturing Development Services) is a Kentucky-based public health organization concerned with early childhood development.

This service is provided through local health departments and any parent or parents expecting a baby can enroll in HANDS.

Healthy pregnancies and birth, childhood development, safe homes and well-prepared families are the main focus of the HANDS initiative.

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HANDS is a voluntary, evidence based, statewide home visitation program that specializes in home visitation to provide assistance to overburdened parents during the prenatal period all the way to the child’s third birthday. The home visitor is trained and used the GGK (Growing Great Kids) curriculum as part of their training and services.

The services include developmental, social and emotional screenings for the child and domestic violence and perinatal depression screenings for the parents. In addition to all of this, a registered nurse or social worker can be provided to do quarterly visits to check and see if there are any signs of premature labor or offer information on labor and delivery, basic care, home safety, exercise, nutrition, stress, babies cues, injury prevention and childhood temperament.

“One of our goals is to help teach parents bond and attach with their child so they can have a healthy, safe home…we also help them with child-proofingand creating a safe, healthy home for the family…we also refer them to different services as needed,” said local HANDS Director Holly Dixon.

October 26 marked the third consecutive fall event that HANDS put on for local families. The event was held in the bus garage on U.S. Hwy. 25E. Fall themed photos were offered as well as free lunch. There was also a drawing for door prizes for gifts donated from local sponsors.

“Our goal with our group event is to have families socialize with each other and connecting with different resources in the area,” said Dixon.

While HANDS was the event organizer, other childhood and family development programs and services such as The Children’s Reading Foundation, Kidabilities and the Five by Five Initiative were all present.