Home-Start is a charity who support families with at least one child under 5 who are struggling to cope. We train local people with parenting or child care experience to become Home-Start volunteers offering emotional support and practical help to families through home visiting for 2/3 hours a week.
Typically the families we support have issues around:
- Low self esteem
- Social isolation
- Mental health
- Confidence in parenting
- New to the area
- Health issues or disabilities
- Struggling to cope with a new baby, multiple births or multiple children under 5
- Barriers accessing support services and attending appointments
- Being ready for school
Our service aims to work at a preventative and early stage of intervention at level 2, although some families at level 3 can be supported where a role for a volunteer can be identified as part of a multi-agency team approach. Home-Start is not a substitute for professional services but complementary to them and the best results are achieved through an active partnership between professionals and Home-Start.
Prior to referral please ensure the Home-Start service is discussed with the family and whether weekly volunteer support is the right service for them – it is important a referral is only made with their written consent. In order to work effectively it is essential that the referral form is completed in full following the guidance provided and any supporting information in relation to Early Help, Case Planning or Child Protection is provided. If you are unsure or wish to discuss your referral please contact the office as listed in the Contact Us page.
Waiting list times – due to our limited capacity (both in staff and volunteers) and ever increasing demand we operate a waiting list system. Families will be prioritised based on the length of time they have waited and the availability of an appropriate volunteer or staff member to meet their needs. Referrers are advised to contact the scheme prior to making a referral to establish the current waiting time.
PLEASE NOTE: Our referral form now has a tick box at the top to give you the option to request PIMH support for a family whom you wish to refer. There are some guidance notes at the bottom of the referral (section 7) and also an additional question (question 7) which must be completed advising why you feel PIMH support is appropriate.
We also welcome referrals of parents or people with child care experience who wish to become Home-Start volunteers. Please visit the volunteer page for further information about the application process.