As a consortium Home-Start London can work at local community level with the strength of a citywide network. The schemes are based in Barnet, Camden, Ealing, Haringey, Havering, Hillingdon, Lambeth, Merton, Redbridge, Richmond, Sutton, Southwark, Wandsworth and Westminster but also operating in Islington, Brent, Kingston, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hounslow, Kensington & Chelsea.
Introduced in 1973, the Home-Start model is based on early intervention and prevention and supports families to develop stronger coping mechanisms to deal with wide ranging social issues including isolation, safeguarding, debt/money management, domestic violence, substance mis-use, multiple births, child behavioural issues, physical and mental illness, unemployment and learning difficulties amongst many others.
Parents helping parents…
Schemes recruit and train volunteers who have parenting experience to visit families at home. The majority of families have at least one child under 5 years of age. Volunteers help families’ take-up services and children’s groups, employ life coaching skills, back to work activities, training and further education. Volunteers build parents confidence and parenting skills and forge links with the community and support mechanisms that will continue once the Home-Start service ends.