Home-Start is a free home visiting service that offers volunteer mentor support to young families in the local community.
The initiative was originally created to support early years outcomes for our children. Specifically, to;
- Provide support to isolated and marginalised parents with young children.
- Improve parenting capacity.
- Encourage better connections with community and services.
- Build stronger relationships with family and extended family.
- Support strong outcomes for children to be ready for school.
Home-Start is an evidence-based international early intervention program first established in the UK over 30 years ago. It is volunteer-based program and works directly in the home with families in the community. Trained volunteers visit families weekly to provide mentoring, emotional support, practical support, positive engagement with children, linkage into services/community for the family.
It takes a village to raise a child
How to get involved
Volunteers are ideally parents or grandparents themselves or have parenting experiences – they come from a wide range of ages and backgrounds. All new volunteers must attend a preparation course and undergo a screening process before being linked with a family. The course offers new volunteers a chance to gain greater knowledge of their role and increase their confidence in offering mentoring support.
When trained, volunteer mentors visit once a week with their allocated family for 2 hours per visit; and provide emotional support (primarily) for the parent/s and some practical support.
- Mentoring – listening, emotional support, sharing, role-modelling, bringing in information as needed around the day to day stressors, a reminder about self-care, encouraging and normalising being a parent.
- Practical help – attending appointments, playgroup, going shopping or to the library and community activities
- Positive encouragement with the children playing, reading, singing, outdoor activities.
Parenting can be challenging especially when feeling exhausted, isolated or lonely, and overwhelmed. Home-Start connects families with members of our community who can listen and assist, and provide support and friendship. Families from any cultural background with a child under school age are welcome. Call our Home-Start Coordinator Courtney on 0428 736 961 or get in touch via a community agency such as Maternal Child Health Nurse, The Family Haven or your local GP.
Call our Home-Start Coordinator Courtney on 0428 736 961 or get in touch via a community agency such as Maternal Child Health Nurse, The Family Haven or your local GP.
Meet our Home-Start Co-ordinator