You are having a baby!
Becoming a parent is a big challenge.
Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) is a free, voluntary program that pairs first-time parents with skilled mentors.
Who can participate?
Any first-time or expectant parent (mom/dad)
HANDS is now no longer just for first time families! Also available for new or expectant parents who are parenting other children.
Starting before the baby arrives, HANDS home visitors meet with expecting parents to help them learn about and practice life-style choices to give their baby the best possible start in life.
- All families have strengths
- All families want the best for their children.
- Families are responsible for their children.
- Families are the main decision-makers for their young children.
HANDS Goals are:
- Positive pregnancy outcomes
- Optimal child growth and development
- Healthy, safe homes for children
- Long-term independence for the family through smart decision-making
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.
HANDS services are offered to any parent on a voluntary basis. The family can enter the program during pregnancy and up until the baby is 12 weeks old. Families can continue in the program unti the child is 2 years of age. Most HANDS visits are done in the family's home. Information about other resources is made available as needed.
- A parent visitor meets with the expecting or new family to determine what services would benefit them. Referrals to social workers, public health nurses and others can be made as needed.
- During pregnancy, a home visitor meets with the family 1-4 times a month to teach about prenatal care, basic childcare, and parenting skills.
- Once the baby is born, visits can be as often as every week to provide mentoring, support, problem solving, assistance with goal setting, and teaching on life skills, child development, home safety, and the importance of immunizations and regular health care.
- As the family progresses, visits are gradually decreased and end when the child reaches 2 years old