Referrers’ page

Home-Start’s aim is to help families make better lives for their children. Our support is free, confidential and non-judgemental.

Find out how to make a referral and what you can expect once you refer a family to us.

How to Make a Referral

If you want to refer a family for Home-Start support, please contact our office first.  This way we can take some preliminary details about the family and the nature of support they require.  We do have families waiting for support so this initial contact gives us a chance to talk about whether there is any substantial waiting time. Please do not send in referrals by post unless this has been agreed in advance with the relevant Home-Start Co-ordinator.  You must have consent from the family before a referral can be accepted.

Who can be referred?Pictures-039-small

Support is available to any family who is experiencing stress or difficulty and who has at least one child under the age of 5 or aged between 5-12 years.  For more details, please refer to the Home Start Wakefield & District Referrer’s Leaflet Nov 2018

Who can make referrals?

Families can refer themselves or be referred to Home-Start Wakefield & District by any agency, eg. health visitor, social worker, children’s centres, schools, etc.

How do I make a referral?

Please ring the Home-Start office on 01924 251205 if you wish to make a referral.

Before submitting a referral form, families must be consulted, informed of the content of the referral form and show their agreement by signing the form.

All referrals received will be assessed to determine whether or not :

  • The family has willingly chosen Home-Start Wakefield & District
  • The referral falls within the remit of the scheme
  • The referrer needs to provide further information prior to a visit by the co-ordinator
  • The scheme is likely to have the resources to support the family

What happens if a referral is refused?

If the referral does not fall within the remit of the scheme or there are insufficient resources to provide support, the referrer will be informed that Home-Start Wakefield & District cannot help on this occasion.

What happens if a referral is accepted?

All families who are accepted for Home-Start support will receive an initial visit by a co-ordinator before support is offered to clarify their needs and the support that Home-Start can offer.

How will I be kept informed of the progress of the referral?

Co-ordinators maintain regular contact with referrers by phone and correspondence. Referrers are kept informed of any changes regarding Home-Start support.

Referrers are given the opportunity to comment on the service offered by Home-Start Wakefield & District at the end of support to families.

How are volunteers matched with families?

The co-ordinator pays careful attention to matching volunteer’s skills and experience to the needs of families. Many factors are taken into consideration, including :

  • The family’s needs
  • The volunteer’s aptitudes, skills and experience
  • Practical considerations : geography, transport and timeF f(4)_families_playing
  • Mutual interests or life experience
  • What motivates the volunteer
  • Issues around culture, gender, background and disability

The success of Home-Start support is dependent on the relationship that develops between the family and the volunteer, so co-ordinators make every effort to link sensitively and appropriately.

The co-ordinator always accompanies the volunteer on the first visit to introduce the volunteer to the family and set the ground rules for visiting. The co-ordinator will stay as long as appropriate to support the family and volunteer to get to know each other.

Do we have a confidentiality policy?

All personal information about parents and families is treated as confidential, to be discussed only as necessary with the co-ordinator in support of the volunteer and to assist the family. Any disclosure of confidential information to any other person may only be undertaken with the expressed permission of the parents for the purpose of assisting the family, except where it is considered necessary for the welfare and protection of the child when information shall be shared with the appropriate authority.

How long is support offered for?

Volunteers provide continuous, regular support for a period of time consistent with a family’s needs. These are assessed initially and reviewed every 3 months.

The aim of Home-Start Wakefield & District is to encourage families towards independence so that the volunteer is no longer needed. The review process will determine how long the volunteer’s support is likely to be needed and clear plans will be made for ending the support in discussion with the volunteer and family.C_a_14_boy with brick wall

Do you offer support in addition to home-visiting volunteers?

Families are also offered the option of being supported through one of our Family Groups.  Family Group Leaflet January 2018

How are volunteers screened?

All volunteers are visited at home before being invited to attend a 40 hour preparation course. They undergo a final interview at the end of the course before being linked with a Home-Start family. We take up 2 references and carry out an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Complaints and Compliments

Home-Start Wakefield & District strives for high standards in service delivery and welcomes feedback from anyone who works with us.  Such feedback is invaluable in helping us to evaluate and improve our work.

If you wish to provide a compliment on the service you have received, you can do this either by e-mailing the Scheme Manager at or ringing us on 01924 251205.

If you are dissatisfied with any element of the service, you may make a complaint.  If possible, this should be made in writing either by letter or on a complaints form available from the Home-Start office.  Complaints may also be made via e-mail or verbally.  If you e-mail your complaint, this should be sent to the Scheme Manager using her confidential e-mail at