Common questions

We believe that 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 your local 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:

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 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 really 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 there is some reason our volunteer would not be safe supporting you.

We can support:

  • Lone parents,
  • married couples,
  • unmarried couples,
  • grandparents caring for their grandchildren,
  • older parents,
  • teen-parents,
  • 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 the money is tight
  • In any location, or for any gender, ethnicity or asylum/immigration status
  • And many others in different situations.

If you think that you could benefit from the support of a Home-Start volunteer then you can get in touch with your us.

You may also be referred to us by a health visitor, doctor or other professional.

More information for professionals who want to refer a family.

Perhaps… But if you are struggling when your children are young, we will try to help. 

Don’t think that your problems are not severe enough to ask.  If we can’t help you, we’ll try to recommend others who might be able to.

No, Home-Start’s support is entirely voluntary and confidential – whether you decide to use Home-Start or not, this will not affect any other support you may be receiving. 

Our support is given freely by the volunteers and received freely by families.  Each has a choice about whether they continue with the relationship.

Generally, we would stop supporting you:

  • when your youngest child goes to school full time
  • if your circumstances have got better and you feel you can cope
  • if you decide you no longer want our support,
  • if your volunteer’s circumstances change and they have to stop volunteering – if this happens, we’ll ask if you would like to be supported by another one of our available volunteers.
  • if, for any reason, our volunteer is no longer safe coming to your home to support you

There are lots of ways that you can get involved with Home-Start. To find out about how to volunteer get in touch..

If you want to find out more about the different types of volunteer opportunity we have, or the commitment we ask of our volunteers, click here.

First, contact someone in the office, we hope they’ll be able to put your mind to rest.

If you want to take your worry on to a formal complaint, you should ask us about our complaints policy. This is usually handled independently by the trustees of Home-Start and follows national guidelines for investigating and making a decision.

A Home-Start volunteer can help you through a really wide range of problems and family needs.

Since 1973, we have been tailor-making our support to help families with twins or triplets, where there is bereavement or illness, disability or addiction, or where there is mental ill health, or money or housing problems.  In most cases, we help where families feel isolated and have no-one nearby to help.

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.