Home-Start started in Leicester in 1973 and now has schemes running throughout the United Kingdom and abroad. Home-Start schemes may differ according to local needs but they all share the same constitution and policy and practice.
They all focus on families with at least one child under the age of five.
They have a multi-disciplinary management committee, ensuring close links with other voluntary and statutory caring agencies working with young families in the community.
Each has at least one paid co-ordinator to run the scheme.
Meticulous attention is paid to the careful recruitment, preparation, matching and support of the Home-Start volunteers.
All Home-Start schemes have a common ethos to ensure high standards of practice are maintained.
Home visiting is essential to the Home-Start approach. It relies on a realistic, flexible response and caring attitude. The families and the volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds. By sharing their time and friendship, volunteers offer families an opportunity to develop new relationships, ideas and skills leading to a renewed interest in their children, an improved response to their needs and greater confidence in sourcing other resources in their community.