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Frequently Asked Questions 


dad_and_son_tea_partWill I be the right sort of person to support a family?

Home-Start volunteers are of all ages and from all walks of life. They need to have experience of bringing up children either as a parent, grandparent, adoptive parent, foster parent, older sibling or secondary carer  and have an ability to listen with understanding. If this is you and you can spare between two to three hours a week, we need you!

What would visiting a family involve?

This varies. You could spend time with a young parent, helping to build their confidence as they adapt to life with a small baby or share an outing with a family who finds getting out of the house difficult. The visits might involve offering an extra pair of hands to a family with several children or providing a listening ear to a mother who is suffering from post-natal depression.

Can men become Home-Start volunteers?

Yes! We need both male and female volunteers.

Do I need a DBS check to volunteer?

Yes! You will need to fill in a form and we will look after getting a DBS sorted for you.

How else can I get involved?

You can also volunteer on our Bump to Babe project. This project requires a one day course that you can complete once you have completed the volunteer Preparation course. click here for more details.

Will I need to volunteer during school holidays?

This is not a requirement, however many volunteers take advantage of the holidays to take families and their children on short day trips. This can help them bond and get them away from their day-to-day issues.

Do I have to be a parent to volunteer?

No! Anyone can volunteer with Home Start.

What other support will I get as a volunteer?

In addition to the volunteer preparation course we will also provide regular supervision with your co-ordinator and additional support as and when you need it. You will also receive additional training to help you support families more effectively.

Do I need any formal qualifications? 

No. We ask that all our volunteers have parenting experience and some spare time available to support local families.

How much time will it take up? 

The minimum requirement is two hours per week at a time convenient for both yourself and the family. For the Bump to Babe project you must be able to commit four hours a week.

Will I receive any training? 

Yes, all new volunteers must attend our Preparation Course which will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to get started. We also have a programme of ongoing training for volunteers throughout the year. Find out about our naxt training dates here.

Will I get paid expenses? 

Yes, we pay all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses.

Will it affect my wellfare  benefits? 

You can still volunteer and it shouldn’t affect your benefits. Your co-ordinator can help you with this.

What support will I receive? 

You will receive regular supervision every eight weeks by your co-ordinator. You can also call your co-ordinator as and when you need support or have any concerns.

Do you have any more questions?

We are happy to help. Please contact us on or 020 7737 7720