Asking for help can feel like admitting failure, but to us it is a sign that you are a great parent who wants to do the very best for your child
Home-Start can help any mum, dad or carer with a child under five, who feels they are struggling.
We are also able to support children aged 5-12 years, through our Big Hopes Big Future school readiness program (this support does require funding through personalised commissioning or pupil premium, please contact us for more details)
Home-Start provides support wherever there is a need – these are just some examples of the issues we can support you with.
Mental ill health and post-natal illness
Nearly half the parents we support need help because they are struggling to cope with post-natal illness, mental health or the mental health of their partner.
Getting up to face another dark day is a struggle when you are in the grips of a mental health condition or post-natal illness. Functioning and being able to care for your child/ren can become an impossible task.
You will get 1 to 1 support from a volunteer who will visit you at home each week. They can help you and your partner find ways to cope, give emotional support, support you to develop a secure relationship with your child and help you to access other specialist services.
If you’ve don’t have friends and family nearby, are on your own with your child or have a partner who works long hours or away from home, it can be lonely. Understandably, many parents don’t feel confident enough to get out with the children to join groups or make new friends on their own, and children can miss out on the opportunity to socialise with other children and explore new environments.
Nearly two-thirds of the families we support are feeling desperately isolated.
A volunteer will help you build up your confidence and work towards getting out and about. Often they will come with you to local groups or support you to attend one of Home-Start’s family groups.
Our volunteers have been referred to as ‘a lifeline’ by parents who’ve been in this situation.
Disability and Illness
Parenting a child with additional needs, disability or long-term illness brings daily challenges that can leave parents feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
This is also the case when a parent has a disability or health issues of their own, or is supporting a partner with a disability or illness. Sometimes a parent cannot physically meet the child’s basic needs, and this impacts on the child.
Every parent’s situation and experience is different, which is why our home visiting support is tailor-made for your family. Our volunteers have previously supported families in similar situations and have helped them access local toddler groups and attend medical appointments. They have also provided invaluable emotional support and helped the family access financial or professional support services if necessary.
Twins, triplets and multiple children
Coping with multiple births or several children under five is hard work. You may need support when the new baby/babies come along, or it may be when they become mobile and are running off in different directions. Simple things like popping to the shop or going to the doctors become mammoth tasks, and of course, the usual challenges of feeding and sleeping are multiplied!
Our volunteers’ support gives you that much needed extra pair of hands
We offer different types of support to suit your needs: