Information For Professionals


Professional referrals

How to refer a family?

Professionals and practitioners (Health Visitor, Midwife, GP, Children Centres, Social Worker etc.) can refer a family for our services or groups. A family is eligible to be referred if they:

  • live in the London Borough of Southwark, or Lewisham (SE4, SE8, SE14, SE23, SE26);
    get in touch if you would like to discuss a Lewisham referral outside of these postcode areas;

  • are in their 3rd trimester of pregnancy or have one or more children under the age of 5 (the child cannot be in full time education);

  • are experiencing difficulties;

  • have given their consent to having Home-Start support.


If you have some questions about how we may be able to support the family you wish to refer, please get in touch.


If you wish to proceed with the referral, please download and complete the referral form for Southwark or Lewisham. Please return it to info@homestartsouthwark.org.uk. If you prefer, you can also print the form out and send it to our office address: Canopi, 7-14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR.


What happens after a referral is made?

  • Additional information request - if there are any further queries, a Family Support Coordinator may get in touch with you;

  • Initial visit - we aim to contact the family within 2 weeks of the referral to arrange a home-visit by a Family Support Coordinator. In exceptional circumstances a joint visit with the referrer could be made. The purpose of the visit is for the Family Support Coordinator to discuss and assess the family’s needs and to see how best we can support them. This is also a time used to explain more about our services and an opportunity for the family to ask any questions they may have;


  • Matching - at a weekly team meeting the Family Support Coordinators discuss which volunteers are available and which might be most suitable for each family;

  • Matching visit - we arrange a further visit to introduce the family and volunteer, agree on how the volunteer will support the family, when the visits will take place, when a review will be held etc;

  • Further support and supervision - the volunteer will receive support throughout their time with the family.

We will inform you when we have matched a volunteer to the family, agreed their working objectives and when our service with the family comes to an end.

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