Families accepting the offer of Home-Start support are usually referred by Health Visitors and Family Support.  Other referrals come from various workers in the field of health care (e.g. midwives, paediatricians, child and family therapists), Sunflower Centre, Women’s Refuges, Portage, Northamptonshire Carers and from other voluntary organisations, having first obtained the permission of the family.

What happens next?

When a referral is received one of our Co-ordinators will contact the family to discuss the family’s support needs and how they feel a volunteer could help. A suitable volunteer is then introduced to the family to offer support, friendship and practical help personalised to the needs of the family. The Co-ordinator will remain in contact throughout the duration of support to review progress.

How long is Home-Start usually involved?

Support can be provided for up to 6 months. Some families may need to be visited for only a few months, whilst others may need support for longer. We are able to support providing the family lives in the Borough of Northampton and there is a child under school age; the volunteers will phone once or twice weekly as agreed or visit once a week for 2 – 3 hours.

What about confidentiality?

All personal information about parents and families is treated as confidential. Home-Start, through a volunteer, develops a very special and privileged relationship with a family. By telephoning or visiting a family regularly and informally at home, a volunteer becomes a trusted listener and supporter and is likely to be the recipient of personal and private information. Children’s welfare is paramount and only if we are concerned about this and only after discussion with the family would confidentiality ever be breached.

How to refer?

Referrals come from many sources, as listed above, and if you wish to refer a family please call the office on 01604 627692.