Working Together to Support Families
Phone us: 01271 325208 Free Info Line: 0800 068 63 68
Frequently asked questions
Who can be referred?
It is our aim at Home-Start Torridge & North Devon to operate an open referral policy ensuring that support is available to any family who is experiencing stress or difficulty and who has at least one child under the age of five. However, funding restrictions do not always make this possible, and as a result the availability of our service in Torridge and North Devon can change from year to year. For information about services currently available please ring our office.
Who can make referrals?
Families can refer themselves, or be referred to Home-Start Torridge & North Devon by any agency, e.g. health visitor, social worker, family support worker, nursery teacher etc.
How do I make a referral?
For each referral made a Referral form should be completed.
Before sending in 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 Torridge & North Devon.
* The referral falls within the remit of the scheme.
* The referrer needs to provide further information prior to a visit by the Organiser.
* The scheme is likely to have the resources to support the family.
What happens when a referral is accepted?
All referrals that are accepted for Home-Start Torridge & North Devon support will receive an initial visit by an Organiser before support is offered to clarify their needs and the support that Home-Start can offer.
Do you have a waiting list?
We do not operate a waiting list at Home-Start Torridge & North Devon. We aim to provide support to families as soon as possible, but when there is not a volunteer available immediately the referrer will be advised of the situation.
How will I be kept informed of the progress of the referral?
Referrers will be informed by the Organiser:
* When the referral has been accepted or not.
* When support is offered to a family, i.e. they are linked with a volunteer.
* Support to a family ends.
A letter will be sent to the referrer at the commencement of support and at the end of support to a family.
All other contact with referrers is usually made by phone.
Referrers are given the opportunity to comment on the service offered by Home-Start Torridge & North Devon at the end of support to families via a referrers' feedback form.
How are volunteers matched with families?
The Organiser pays careful attention to matching volunteers' 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.
* 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 Organisers make every effort to match sensitively and appropriately.
The Organiser always accompanies the volunteer on the first visit to introduce the volunteer to the family and set the ground rules for visiting. The Organiser will stay as long as appropriate to support the family and volunteer to get to know each other.
Do you have a confidentiality policy?
All personal information about parents and families is treated as confidential, to be discussed only as necessary with the Organiser 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 express permission of the parents for the purpuse of assisting the family, except where it is considered necessary for the welfare and protection of a child when information shall be shared with the appropriate authority.
How long is supported offered for?
Volunteers provide continuous, regular support for a period of time consistent with a family's needs. These are assessed initially and reviewed periodically.
Home-Start Torridge & North Devon's aim 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.
How are volunteers screened?
All volunteers meet the requirements of our person specification. They are interviewed before being invited to attend a preparation course for one day per week over eight weeks and will undergo a final interview before being matched with a family. We take up two references and an enhanced CRB check.
Home-Start Torridge & North Devon. Registered Charity Number 1114020. Registered in England and Wales. Registered Company Number 5692950. Registered address: Offices 3 - 4, 2 Bear Street, Barnstaple, Devon. EX32 7BU. here to edit.