Families accepting the offer of a Home-Start volunteer are usually referred by Health Visitors and Social Workers. Other referrals come from various workers in the field of health care (e.g. midwives, paediatricians, child and family therapists), and from other voluntary organisations, such as Parenting 2000, Sefton Women and Children’s Aid, Light for Life or playgroups. Referrals are also made by counselling services, and churches. Increasingly, families themselves are asking Home-Start for a volunteer. Anyone can make a referral to Home-Start, having first obtained the permission of the family.
What happens next?
When a referral is received a co-ordinator visits the family at home to find out what the needs are. The most suitable volunteer is then introduced to the family to offer support, friendship and practical help tailored to the needs of the family. The co-ordinator remains in contact throughout to review the progress being made.
For how long is Home-Start usually involved?
Some families will need to be visited for only a few months, whilst others will need support for much longer. As long as there is a need and at least one child is under 11 years we are happy to be involved.
What about confidentiality?
It is most important that a family can rely on having privacy and respect. All information about parents and families is treated as confidential and information about a family is only shared with the purpose of assisting that family and only with the express permission of the family. Only if there is concern about the welfare of the children in the family, and after discussion with the co-ordinator, would information need to be shared to ensure that the safety of the child is paramount.
How to make a referral
Referrals come from many sources including Health Visitors, Social Workers, other voluntary organisations, counselling services, churches and increasingly from families themselves.
The referral form should be used to refer a family to Home-Start Southport & Formby. Please ensure that the referral is made with the consent of the family.
- Friends and neighbours
- Mental health services
- Mental health services
- Other Home-Start schemes
- Parent and toddler groups
- Health visitors
- Voluntary organisations
- Social workers
- Ill health
- Disability or special needs
- Postnatal illness
- New babies
- Parenting advice
- Children’s behavioural problems
- Coping with twins, triplets or several pre-school children
- Sleeping/feeding problems
- Parental stress
- Helping parents to nurture their children
- Providing effective role models
- Safeguarding children’s welfare
- Relationship problems
- First time or young parents
- Lone parents