Are We suited?
Before you are matched with a Home-Start family, we need to be sure that we suit you and you suit us! A Home-Start volunteer needs to be...
- A parent, or to have parenting experience
- Non-judgemental - able to accept that different people live their lives in different ways, with a positive attitude to working with different types of people
- Aware of what respecting confidentiality means - clear why we need to respect other people's confidences so that they can trust us, but also clear about what should be passed on to protect a child or a vulnerable adult
- A good communicator - someone who is able and willing to listen, as well as put across what you want to say without dominating the conversation
- Aware of the right of everyone - regardless of who they are or where they come from - to a happy family life and to help, if they want it, from Home-Start. This means not being racist, sexist, or discriminating against anyone for any reason, including their religion, culture or sexuality, or because they have a disability
- Able to work as a team member, and keep records as required by Home-Start
- Warm and open with families - this does not mean telling all your secrets! It is more about being approachable and kind, and treating them like an equal
- Able to spare the time to visit families without over-committing yourself
- Reliable - once you have made a commitment to a family, you need to be willing and able to stick to it, unless something unforeseen happens
- Aware that you will be working alongside a family, at their pace and helping them in the way they want, rather than intervening to solve their problems for them.
During the preparation course, we will try to get to know you to find out whether you have all these qualities. It is likely that you will; it is unlikely that there will be a problem. If issues do come up, we will talk them through with you (in private) as soon as possible during the course or, if it is more appropriate, at the end of the course, in the one-to-one discussion you will have with one of the Co-ordinators.
If there are problems that cannot be overcome, we will not be able to accept you as a home-visiting volunteer. In the unlikely event of this happening, we will give you clear reasons why and, if possible, signpost you to other volunteer work elsewhere.
Equally, you might decide that Home-Start is not for you after all. If this is the case, please do not hesitate to tell us - we will not be offended! We would rather know as soon as possible. There will be no hard feelings and, again, we will try to suggest other opportunities you might be interested in.