We believe talking to a person is one of the best ways of finding out about our service, or of raising any concerns. So in most cases we recommend that you speak to staff at Home-Start if there is anything you want to know. But here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our service:
How do I get Home-Start Help?
If you think that you could benefit from the support of a Home-Start volunteer, then you can get in touch with Home-Start yourself. Other people may be referred by a health visitor, social worker, doctor or other professional or indeed anyone but always only with the consent of the parent.
If someone has referred me to Home-Start do I have to take the help?
No, Home-Start’s support is entirely optional, and confidential. None of the other support you may be receiving will depend on working with Home-Start.
Will I have to pay for this service?
Home-Start’s support is completely free. You will not have to pay for your support from Home-Start. We are a charity and raise funds to be able to support parents and children.
What type of things can Home-Start support me with?
Home-Start volunteers help families facing adversities such as isolation, the effects of post-natal illness, disability, mental health issues, bereavement, multiple births, poverty or financial difficulties, substance abuse or low self-esteem and confidence and a whole range of other challenges.
Are there any reasons why Home-Start will not be able to support me?
We’d love to be able to help absolutely everyone who asks, but we are a charity and sometimes we just can’t. We won’t be able to help: • If you don’t have a child under 5 years of age • If you do not live within the Borough of Northampton • If the referral does not fall within the remit of the scheme or there are insufficient resources to provide support. • if all our volunteers are already supporting other families • if there is not enough funding to train more volunteers • if you have a very complex set of problems and we don’t have a suitably experienced volunteer available • if you need more support than our befriending volunteers can give – in which case we’ll always recommend other kinds of support for you, and put you in touch if we can • If it would make it unsafe for either you or the volunteer to visit
What if I’ve got a worry or complaint about my support?
If you are unhappy about any aspect of Home-Start we want to know, and will do our best to put it right. In the first instance you can talk to whoever you feel to be the most appropriate person within the scheme; Scheme Manager, Co-ordinator, administrator, volunteer and trustee or alternatively the person who first put you in touch with Home-Start. If you still have concerns, then the trustees – the people who govern Home-Start Northampton – can investigate using our structured complaints procedure. To find out about this, please contact the office on 01604 627692
I’m sure other families need more help than me
People need help for different reasons. If you are struggling when your children are young, we will try to help. Don’t think that your problems are not severe or important enough to ask. If we can’t help you, we’ll try to recommend others who might be able to.
Do you support families like mine?
Lone parents; married couples; unmarried couples; grandparents caring for grandchildren; step parents; adoptive parents; families where a parent is in the armed forces; families where a parent is in prison; families where social care or other agencies are involved; wealthy families; families where money is tight, for any gender, ethnicity or asylum/immigration status and many others in different situations.