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Volunteer Home Visiting

         

At Home-Start Family Services we believe that every child deserves the best start in life.  We know that sometimes families need a little help to get their children off to a good start, so we match experienced volunteers with families with young children, to offer help and support. 

Click to read some Volunteers Stories


Volunteers are linked with a family with at least 1 child under 5 years, and visit weekly in the family's own home to offer friendship and practical help to parents and their children and can reassure parents by helping them to build on their strengths, enhance their parenting skills and find pleasure in family life.
They can also help isolated families to make friends, use community resources and help prevent family breakdown. 
Home-Start employs a paid coordinator to recruit, train, supervise and support volunteers and link them with a family. The coordinator monitors and supervises the relationship between volunteers and families, and regularly offers support, activities and ongoing training for volunteers and families.
Volunteers, who are usually parents themselves, must attend a 10 week training program and undergo a screening process before being linked with a family. 

We help to increase the confidence and independence of families by:

  • Visiting families in their own homes to offer support, friendship and practical assistance
  • Reassuring parents that their childcare problems are not unusual or unique
  • Encouraging parents' strengths and emotional well-being for the ultimate benefit of their children
  • Trying to get the fun back into family life

Our volunteers, who have parenting experience themselves, can offer:

  • Precious time for listening and talking
  • Help with the children
  • A break for parents (parents are in the home at all times)
  • Practical help and reassurance
  • A chance to meet other parents in similar situations
  • Support to use local services and resources
  • Transport (under some circumstances)

Parents ask for Home-Start's help for all sorts of reasons:

  • They may feel isolated in their community, have no family nearby and be struggling to make friends
  • They may be finding it hard to cope because of their own or a child's physical or mental illness
  • They may have been hit hard by the death of a loved one
  • They may be really struggling the with emotional and physical demands of having twins or triplets - perhaps born into an already large family

Our quality is maintained across the country with all Home-Start schemes working to National Standards



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