Latest News

Here's a great article that has been published in Good Practice: A Statewide Snapshot 2016.

Walking alongside Susan and her grandchildren

Author: Jane Worthington, Home-Start Coordinator Organisation: Baptcare, Family and Children’s Services Program: Home-Start

Home-Start Home-Start is an early intervention service that places home visiting mentors with vulnerable families within the community to provide emotional and practical support around parenting. All mentors are trained volunteers who are supervised by a paid coordinator provided by Baptcare. This is a true community-supporting community model. At the point of referral Susan had been caring for her two preschool-aged grandchildren for a few months. The children had been removed from the care of their parents 12 months earlier following a serious injury to the younger child, who was two years old. At the time the children were removed, Susan was working full time and the children’s parents were living with her when the injury occurred, the department identified it was better for the children to be placed in short-term foster care while an investigation took place.

Once the investigation was complete it was determined that the children could live with their maternal grandmother, Susan. However, things were difficult for Susan – she continued to work full time while managing the care of the children, there was the trauma experienced by all involved in the initial removal of the children, and the children displayed difficult behaviours ranging from aggression to clinginess.

A family mentor, Carrie, was put in place and tasked with: supporting Susan to build routines; establishing a positive relationship between the two children; helping to develop confidence for Susan around parenting; emotionally supporting her to deal with the distress of the children’s removal; and managing future contact for the children with their parents. Carrie met with Susan on a weekly basis listening, validating, normalising and offering information and guidance. Carrie encouraged learning and language development for the children. She helped create evening routines and shared the challenges around Susan’s contact with her daughter. Carrie encouraged Susan to develop a mental health treatment plan with her Doctor and to seek counselling. She also helped set up regular supervised contact for the children with their parents. She made herself available when the family needed it most – after hours, when Susan returned from work. By establishing a non-judgemental ‘walking alongside’ relationship, trust was built where genuine changes could be facilitated for the family – at their pace.

Eighteen months later, Susan continues to work hard to juggle employment and caring for two small children, but there are noticeable positive outcomes. The children have fewer behavioural issues, more normalised sibling behaviours and delays in their development are no longer evident. The older sibling has transitioned smoothly into school. Working from a trauma-informed, strengths perspective allowed Carrie to gently guide and suggest options to the grandmother, never forcing a direction that the grandmother felt uncomfortable with but always exploring how the issue might best be dealt with. Trust, empowerment and confidence were cornerstones to this engagement. 


Michelle and Val from Home-Start in Newcastle are taking part in the Lake Macquarie Running (Walking) Festival at Warner’s Bay on 30 August to raise funds for Home-Start Australia.  
Click on Michelle or Val's names to take you to the website to donate.... or click on both :)



They would appreciate your support.



Grants have been received for the following programs:
Thank you to Goulburn Workers Club and Goulburn Soldiers Club for our Southern Tablelands programs.
Thanks to Moss Vale Services Club and Mittagong RSL for our Wingecarribee programs. 

These Grants mean that our volunteers will be able to help more local families.



We Won!! 

Tokens have been counted for the month of April and guests at Grill'd The Junction decided that they wanted Home-Start Family Services to receive the biggest donation of $300. Congratulations and a huge "Thank You" to everyone who put tokens in our Jar.


Home-Start has been selected as one of 3 Charities for April at Grill'd at The Junction (Newcastle), BUT we need to collect the most tokens in our jar to receive the 1st prize donation.

If you live locally, do yourself a favour, take yourself, your family and friends to Grill'd at The Junction during April, and enjoy some lovely gourmet burgers with beautiful fresh ingredients.

It's very family friendly too with a great relaxed atmosphere. Just ask for tokens with your meals and pop them in the Home-Start Jar.

If you don't live locally....please please SHARE this message via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc with all your friends and family who live within cooeee of Newcastle, and ask them to do the same please. This way everyone can support Home-Start to support kids and parents in need.


Baptcare’s Bendigo Home-Start program recently won the Powercor Bendigo Business Excellence Award for not-for-profit/community service organisation of the year.

The program was established in 2008 to help socially isolated families facing difficult circumstances to draw on the valuable experience of others in the community. It connects volunteers to families, based on specific needs of the families and the strengths of the volunteers. In the past financial year, Baptcare Bendigo Home-Start provided in-home support to 39 families in the greater Bendigo, with 114 children benefiting from this unique service.

Congratulations to the team and volunteers that make this program such a success.

What a great day for Wingecarribee families at the Christmas party in Mittagong. These photos say it all....




Home-Start's Eat Move Live program conducted community days promoting healthy eating and activities for children. Events were held in the Riverina - at Hillston, Hay and Darlington Point with funding was provided by Families NSW.


Sessions were also held, with funding supplied from Club Grants, in Newcastle and Cessnock.

Val and Gloria attended the Home-Start Victorian Conference for volunteers from Bendigo, Brimbank and PANDA.  The Conference was held in Kyneton.  Val shared what's been occurring worldwide with Home-Start.  Linda Manley (from Baptcare) did a brilliant session on 'Trauma Informed Practice'.


Five fabulous volunteers have completed their Volunteer Preparation Course and graduated ready to support local parents with children 0-5 years.  Here they are cutting their Graduation cake.  Well done ladies.... Karen, Fiona, Di, Wen and Ros.


Celebrations at Newcastle and Cessnock Clubgrants Presentation ceremonies saw our National Projects Officer, Michelle McDonell receive cheques from Beresfield Bowling Club and Cessnock Leagues Club.

Our heart felt thanks to Cessnock Leagues Club for $4668 and to Beresfield Bowling Club for $8040

Here's Michelle McDonell (Home-Start National
with Des Skinner, President, Beresfield Bowling Club at the ClubGRANTS Presentation Ceremony and with Paul Cousins, CEO, Cessnock Leagues Club

These projects will help families with small children in Cessnock LGA and Newcastle LGA including Beresfield/Tarro to increase their knowledge & practical skills of providing healthy & affordable food, and easy, fun, physical activity for the whole family. 

We'll be delivering EAT MOVE LIVE Healthy Families workshops to parents with small children - teaching how to make practical, easy changes to their family's food choices, physical activity and screen time habits, to reduce the incidence and risk of childhood and family obesity and heart disease. Each family will take home free resources & will have free access to continued support and motivation via the website and Facebook.

To check out EAT MOVE LIVE yourself on EAT MOVE LIVE or go to EAT MOVE LIVE Facebook page click EAT MOVE LIVE Facebook 

Place a Donation Tin on your Business Counter
If you are happy to have a collection tin for your customers, we will organise delivery and pick up at your convenience.  

VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITY WITH HOME START in the Newcastle and East Lake Macquarie areas.

The Home-Start program is looking for people with parenting/life/work experience who are willing to offer a few hours per week to support a family with young children.  

A Volunteer Preparation Course will commence on Wednesday 29 May from 10am to 2.30pm at the Family Action Centre at the University of Newcastle.  There is no cost for the course.

If you are interested, please contact Philippa 49216842 or Lesley 49215758.

A couple of great photos sent by Sheri.  Gloria Jeans and Home-Start are partnering to raise awareness around the importance of Early Childhood Literacy. 
Every Tuesday between 10am and 12 noon parents come and enjoy a coffee while the children enjoy a story.  $2 from every coffee sale during the book reading is donated to Home-Start Kempsey Macleay for the purchase of more books.
The second photo shows Mal reading to girls at Gloria Jeans. They were given a Fred Hollows Indigenous book to take home.

 Thank you Gloria Jeans for your generous support of Home-Start.

Here's the latest Newsletter from Bendigo

17th April 2013 

Kempsey/Macleay Program - The EAT MOVE LIVE Program started on the 17th April with 9 participants, who will learn about healthy eating and physical activity for children and adults, and making healthier lifestyle choices for their family. You all look fabulous in your EAT MOVE LIVE t-shirts and the little ones are gorgeous!   CONGRATULATIONS


Home-Start is pleased to announce that a funding application to the Healing Foundation has been accepted. This small grant will allow us to hold an event to launch the Brungle Healing and Healthy Cookbook, which will be created and tested by Indigenous women from Brungle and the local Riverina area Home-Start Coordinator, Sherise Jory.  


Our new co-ordinator for the Carrathool shire (Hillston) is Jenny Matheson.  Welcome to the team Jenny.

Here she is receiving training from Michelle.

Farewell and good luck to Carmel Flood who has been our fantastic co-ordinator for Goulburn.  Yvonne Low will be caretaking the Goulburn program until further notice.  Please use the same mobile number for Goulburn or phone the National Office on 49529488.  All the best with your future ventures Carmel.  You will be missed.

Latest graduates from the Triple P course in Kempsey. Congratulations to all.



Forster, Kempsey and Hawkes Nest coordinators and volunteers came together and were so enthusiastic to be trained in the use of the Eat Move Live website, facebook page and printed resources.  Here they are in their new Tshirts - da dah!! 

Visit EAT MOVE LIVE at   

Here is the Kempsey Walking Group looking great in their Eat Move Live Tshirts.  They meet for a walk every Wednesday and are looking forward to starting the Eat Move Live program next year.

The Eat Move Live project was launched within Home-Start, to all NSW Coordinators and a focus group was held to co-ordinate strategies for delivering the project within Home-Start strengths based practices. It was also launched externally via multiple media avenues, and CEO Marilyn Barnes participated in a number of radio interviews, receiving a very positive response and a number of offers by former volunteers to be involved.

By being online, Home-Start can continually offer updated and current information and support to parents that is practical and easy to use - at their fingertips via mobile phone, at home, in the supermarket, at any time.




This course was delivered by Home-Start National to teenage mothers between the ages of 14 years and 20 years. The participants attend the DALE Young Mothers School at Waratah in Newcastle. The DALE Program offers onsite child care in order to allow teenage mothers to continue with their education.  Parenting can be very stressful and challenging under the most opportune circumstances however parenting at this very young age whilst attempting to complete studies is an enormous task.

The programs aim was to enhance child/parent relationship and provide young mothers with the ability to respond appropriately and effectively to their child’s behaviour. The capacity to parent well reduced the level of tension and stress experienced in the relationships between mother and child and provided a calmer environment, not only for the healthy and happy development of children but also for mothers to be able to focus on their studies.


In partnership with Probation & Parole, and Newcastle Family Relationships Centre, Home-Start delivered a series of ‘Navigating Fatherhood’ courses to dads who are referred by Probation and Parole.  The program was held at Cardiff Probation & Parole Offices.

The Navigating Fatherhood - Parenting Guide for Dads’ program aimed to educate and support participating dads to better understand the impact their decisions and actions have on their children and partners, and the importance of their role as fathers and role-models. By educating dads to be the “best dad that they can be” helps break the generational cycle of poor fathering, by improving relationships between dads and children.  

The men enjoyed hearing about the Eat Move Live program and how increase their knowledge and practical skills to provide healthy and affordable food, and easy, fun, physical exercise for the whole family.

             Fun and Funds Raised at Home-Start's 2nd Fashion Parade 

Many thanks: 
* to Robyn and staff at Blue Illusion at The Junction (Newcastle, NSW) for hosting our 2nd fundraising fashion parade 
* to Trish, Liz and Ann - our wonderful models who donated their time and modelled the lovely clothing beautifully
* to the local businesses who donated raffle prizes
* and to all who attended and helped us raise funds to keep supporting children and families in need. 

 If you would like to know more information about Home-Start,  email

Fun for all at Home-Start's Fashion Show

Home-Start National Inc recently held a Fashion Show at Blue Illusion, The Junction (Newcastle), to raise funds for its ongoing support of families.
Thanks to our wonderful volunteer models:  Trish, Liz, Ann and Jill.
Congratulations to all our raffle winners and a big thanks to those who donated prizes and those who attended the afternoon.
We are planning another parade in September.  If you would like to know more details as the time gets closer, email


Home-Start Wingecarribee celebrates its 10th Anniversary

NSW Minister for Family and Community Services, the Hon. Pru Goward presented Volunteer Service Awards at Home-Start Wingecarribee's 10th Anniversary celebration in December 2011

Home-Start's First Victorian Volunteer Conference held in Kyneton, Victoria in December 2011

Volunteers and Co-ordinators from 3  Home-Start schemes in Victoria: 
Home-Start Baptcare Family Services (VIC) based in Moonee Ponds, 
Baptcare Home-Start Bendigo (VIC) , and
PANDA Home-Start (VIC) based in North Fitzroy

Home-Start National Inc. wins 3 funding grants for new projects to start in 2012                                 

Childhood Obesity and Family Wellbeing Project - developing simple resources and practical activities to assist Home-Start families to increase their knowledge and skills to provide healthy and affordable meals as well as easy, fun, physical exercise for their whole family.


Young Parents Circle of Security Parenting Course - in partnership with D.A.L.E. Young Mother's Program (a part of St Philips Christian College) - teaching this innovative parenting program to teenage mothers endeavoring to complete their education, increases confidence as a parent and greatly improves the likelihood of finishing their studies.  
    $5,000    Beresfield Bowling Club           
                           (Newcastle CDSE Funding)

Navigating Fatherhood course - Newcastle area - a guide to parenting for dads who have been in prison. A collaboration with Newcastle Family Relationships Centre which involves an 8 week course aimed at increasing participants' understanding of the importance and impact of being a dad, and decreasing rate of re-offending and recidivism.  
Spotlight on a Triple P Practioner - Sheri Foster (Kempsey/Macleay)
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and where you live?

My name is Sheri Foster I have lived in Kempsey for the past 14 years. I am a social scientist and work in the welfare services. I have worked with Home-Start which is a voluntary home visiting service and while doing that I run many parenting programs.

Read Sheri's interview on Families NSW website, click here

Home-Start Kempsey - showered in gifts by Prosperity Advisors Group

Kempsey/Macleay Coordinator, Sheri Foster 

Thank you to the wonderful employees of Prosperity Advisors Group who donated funds and bought gifts for disadvantage children participating in Home-Start schemes. We are so grateful for your support.