Helping Us Grow (HUG)

What is HUG?

HUG is a Free prevention initiative home visiting program funded by the Illinois State Board of Education that serves families with children birth to three as well as pregnant women who are experiencing significant life stressors in McHenry County.

We believe that parents are their child's first and most important teacher. Evidence shows that the experiences that parents provide to their children in the first few years of life lead to their children's success. Children come into this world ready for love and learning, but parenting is hard and children are not born with directions!

Who is eligible for HUG services?

Eligibility is based on a variety of life stressors. Some of these include:

  • Teen pregnancy/parenting

  • Single parenting

  • Families accessing WIC, SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, or CCAP

  • Early Intervention involvement

  • Primary language other than English

  • Housing instability

  • Caregiver other than parent raising child

What services does HUG provide?

HUG provides free home-visiting services that follow the Parents as Teachers curriculum, an evidence-based early childhood model that builds strong communities and thriving families with children who are healthy, safe, and ready to learn.

Parents join together with their family support specialist to develop goals and plan what they want to happen through their home visiting experience. Each visit is designed to support parents in three main areas: positive parent-child interactions, child development, and family wellness. We work together to build stronger relationships within families and improve overall family well-being.