First-time moms and dads have a handy resource to help them adjust to life with a child.
The Health Access Nurturing Development Services (HANDS) program is a voluntary home-visitation program offered by the Jessamine County Health Department.
“We do home visits; we teach about safety, the development of your child from prenatal to until the child is 2 years old,” said Jennifer Suddarth, JCHD senior family support worker. “It is a curriculum-based program that I use, and there are some activities that I do.”
Suddarth said there are 34 families in Jessamine County enrolled in the program, and on Wednesday evening, June 27, the health department sponsored a HANDS summer event at Lake Mingo Park.
“The event is designed to bring the families together, and it’s a little bit of an incentive to get them out of the home environment and get to know other people,” Suddarth said. “A lot of families that we work with are pretty isolated and don’t get out of the house a whole lot, so we try to have two events (summer and winter) a year.”
Those who attended were treated to pizza from Papa Murphy’s and received a goody bucket with items such as bubbles for the children and McDonald’s gift cards.
Suddarth said through the program, many first-time parents have made connections outside the home and as a result, a support system has been put in place.
Any first-time parent is eligible to participate. HANDS services can begin during pregnancy or anytime before a child is 3 months old.
For more information on the HANDS program, call Suddarth at 859-885-4149 ext. 1012.