HANDS program available for beginning parents

By Katlin Brock kbrock@civitasmedia.com

March 13, 2014

The Bell County Health Board held the quarterly meeting at the Pineville Health Department on Tuesday.

Joanie Roper and Janice Dixon were in attendance to present Health Access Nurturing Developing Services (HANDS), a home visiting program that has been with the state of Kentucky since 2001 and within Bell County since 2002.

HANDS works with new mothers and newborn children. Nurses who participate in the home visits can remain with families until the child turns 2 years old.

“Up until 2012 we could only service people who were first time parents,” said Roper, who has been with the HANDS program since 2003. “In 2012, there was a federal grant that Kentucky received to service parents who already have children.”

“Home visits all across America has proved to be a valid way to help parents support their child’s early development,” said Roper.

The Bell County chapter of HANDS is within the top 10 programs in the state.

“It’s really a wonderful program and there are a lot of people without the support of a family,” said Dixon, commenting on why she believes so strongly in the program.

Katlin Brock can be reached at 606-248-1010, ext. 1135.