Who can refer?
Referrals can come from many sources – families can refer themselves or be referred by any professional or service supporting the family.
Key criteria for referrals
To be eligible for help from Home-Start Richmondshire, the family must live in Richmondshire and have at least one child under the age of 5. If being referred by another person it is essential that the family agree to Home-Start support.
Families referring themselves
If you feel you may benefit from Home-Start support please ring us on 01748 850079. We will arrange to visit you to chat about how we may be able to help. It is entirely your decision as to whether you have Home-Start’s support.
Referring a family
We welcome referrals from any service supporting families e.g. Health Visitors, Children’s Centres, Army Welfare Officers, NSPCC, Social Workers or Doctors. If you wish to make a referral on a family’s behalf and with their consent, please ring 01748 850079 to discuss the family’s needs, or download our referral form here.
We aim to provide support to families as soon as possible, but where there is not a volunteer available immediately the family will be asked if they want to go on a waiting list. The majority of families are offered support within two months of referral, however, on occasion families may be waiting longer than this, or be told that support is unavailable for the foreseeable future and be taken off the waiting list.
The role of a volunteer complements the work of professionals and offers an informal, flexible approach towards the families' needs.
What will happen when we receive a referral?
We will contact the parents and arrange to visit them to tell them about our support and discuss their needs. If the parents decide that Home-Start support would be helpful the Co-ordinators will introduce a volunteer after carefully matching them to the needs of the family. The Co-ordinators will regularly review progress with the family and the referrer will be kept informed about Home-Start’s support.
How long is Home-Start Richmondshire usually involved?
Support is not time limited and will be provided as long as is needed and whilst there is a child under the age of 5. Some families will need to be visited for only a few months whilst others will need support for much longer. The Co-ordinators will regularly review progress with the family.
What about confidentiality?
It is most important that a family can rely on having privacy and respect. 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 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 where possible, only after discussion with the family would confidentiality ever be breached. Please see our Confidentiality Policy to find out more.
If you are unsure about what to do or have any questions then please contact us directly for an informal chat.