HANDS Program

Free, Local Support for New Parents

Every Parent Needs a Second Pair of Hands 

What is the HANDS program?

For ALL Parents

Weekly Contact

Prenatal Support

0-2 Year Support

Research Based

HANDS = Health Access Nurturing Development Services. Any parent in Trigg, Caldwell, Lyon, Livingston, or Crittenden is eligible to enroll, at no cost to the family, from pregnancy up to 90 days after birth. We’ll meet with you weekly to help you reach the goals you’ve set for yourself and baby. Every child is unique and reaches different stages at different points. Our HANDS ongoing home visitors will be able to discuss any questions or concerns about pregnancy and baby’s first years.

Who should join HANDS?

Every new parent in the Pennyrile region. We work with adoptive moms, foster dads, new moms, new dads, teen moms, teen dads, experienced moms, experienced dads and more. No matter your background, we are here to offer a second pair of hands as you learn the best way to connect with and help your baby grow. Every parent gets access to the same, research-based support. We’re not offering our opinions to you, we have years of research to help us guide you into becoming the best parent to support your baby. 

What HANDS believes:

  • 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.

Kim Donaldson, RN, Hands Manager

“Every parent needs this program. Even as a nurse who has raised three kids, I was surprised at what I didn’t know that research has told us is best for both mom and baby.” 

Why participate in HANDS?

Fewer premature infants

Fewer low birth weight babies

Fewer developmental delays

Parents also reported improvements in their:

  • Home’s safety
  • Coping skills
  • Support system
  • Amount of stress
  • Discipline techniques
  • Anger management skills

From the positive pregnancy test, so many changes are happening every week with you and your baby. It can quickly be overwhelming, but this is why our HANDS program offers you weekly free support from pregnancy through two-years postpartum. You, as the parent, are the most important person in your baby’s life. That’s right, YOU. What a privilege, but also sounds a little scary, right? Working with us, you’ll have someone to share those questions and worries with, right in your own home. 

  • Learn tips for staying healthy in pregnancy. Those first few months can be especially rough. You’ll have a weekly support system to walk you through the best way to stay healthy in pregnancy and also the labor process. We’re here to help decrease any anxiety you might have around the unknown. 

  • Learn how to bond with baby so they know mom/dad’s voice even before they’re born. 

  • Build security/trust with baby. You’ll learn how to pick up on cues so you are there for baby when they’re happy, sad, sick or overwhelmed. There’s a better way than letting them cry it out. 

  • Practice empathic parenting. Our goal is to grow better adjusted children who are able to self-regulate from an early age. Tantrums in the grocery don’t have to become your norm. 

  • Access breastfeeding support outside of a doctor’s office. Breastfeeding has so many benefits for both you and baby so if this is something you want to do, then we are here to support you in the joys and challenges of choosing to breastfeed. 

  • Decrease stress, learn new coping and discipline techniques. These are some of the top benefits our participants talk about.

Weekly support and fun incentives for you and baby:

  • Free Diaper Bag and goodies at sign up!

  • $10 gift card at first visit 

  • Free car seat for those who take the pledge to “Take It Outside” and not smoke around baby. 

  • Monthly gifts for one year of “Take It Outside” participants 

Ready to schedule your first meeting with us?

Not sure this program is for you?

We want you to bond with the baby right now and we help you do that through education, encouragement and support. You may already have a support system, or maybe you don’t, but we are a safe person you can talk to that’s outside of your normal circle. What we’re telling you is all based on years of research. You are learning right alongside other Kentucky moms and dads. We are here to see you succeed and cheer you on in your role as parent. 

More details of the state program can be found on the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services website.

Other services we offer new parents:

  • See if you qualify for WIC, a program that offers nutritional foods and support for lower-income families. 

  • Immunizations at the right time from infancy through adulthood. 

  • Well checkups for kids as you prepare them for Preschool and Kindergarten. 

  • Counseling from a certified dietitian who helps pregnant, nursing mothers and families build healthy dietary plans. (Ask your doctor for a referral.)

Want to learn more about any of these services? Contact your local health department today!

Join the HANDS Program

When I first became pregnant I was scared and nervous about becoming a mother. I felt like I didn’t have a clue about raising a baby. I was excited but self-conscious about my abilities to be mother.

The hands program stepped in and helped me out tremendously starting when I was 12 weeks pregnant. My family support worker was a miracle worker for my stress and anxiety. She helped me set goals that helped ease my stress when I brought my baby home. She brought me information weekly and worked with me on how to prepare for the most life-changing experience that would happen. She helped me realize my natural motherly instincts and instilled a confidence in me that I am an amazing mother.

She helped me accomplish goals that made my daughter’s life better. She watches for my daughter’s milestones and helps me to help my daughter learn and grow.

Without the hands program, I would have been extremely overwhelmed and not knowing what to expect when I brought my daughter home from the hospital.

She has helped my family grow together, set goals together and accomplish them together

If a friend asked me why I would recommend this program, my first answer would be the support you receive. From pregnancy, birth, and postpartum you have someone that is there for you, has your back, and supports your decisions and beliefs as a parent. They help guide you to being the best parent you can be. There is no judgement in the hands program, no negativity, only positivity and room for growth! You make a special connection with your family support worker, and look forward to their visits every week. Especially with postpartum and aftercare, they are there to help if you might suffer from depression and anxiety after childbirth.

It can be overwhelming and challenging becoming a parent whether it’s your first child or your 4th, the hands program is there to be hands on and help you to become the best parent you can be.

Trigg County Mom