supporting families & local communities in Calderdale

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I've been referred to you by another agency that is already helping me. What will you do next?
    • One of our Co-ordinators will arrange to visit you at a convenient time and during that visit they will make sure you're happy with the referral and find out from you what kind of support you would like from Home-Start.
  • I haven't been referred by anyone, but can I get support too?
    • Yes! You can refer yourself for support simply by calling us on 01422 242124 or emailing and we will call you back and arrange to visit you. Around 25% of the families we support have referred themselves to us.
  • If I get support from Home-Start, does that mean I'm a rubbish parent?
    • Absolutely not! We've all had difficult times as parents and many of us are lucky enough to have family and friends to help. But just as many people, through nobody's fault, don't have the same support from family and friends. Home-Start Calderdale is a caring and non-judgmental organisation - all we want to do is help


  • Who will find out that I've got Home-Start support?
    • We ask for your consent to inform other agencies that we are supporting you. Beyond that, we tell no one. We fully respect your privacy and will not breach that without consent from you. The only time we would breach our Confidentiality Policy is if we were concerned about the welfare of a child in the family. If we have concerns about a child being at risk of harm, we will inform Care Services, but we would tell you what we were doing.


  • I think it'll be strange having a volunteer in my house. I'm not sure if I'll like it.
    • We realise that it will probably be odd for you to have a stranger in your home so we try really very hard to match personalities of you and your volunteer. We also look at whether you've had similar experiences in life as many times that can help with building a friendship. All our volunteers have to complete a 40-hour training course, provide two character references and are put through an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service check - they used to be called the Criminal Records Bureau check. However, if after a few visits from your volunteer you're still not sure, all you need to do is call your Co-ordinator who will visit you and, if needed, will make other arrangements.


  • What will the volunteer do when they visit?
    • It's easier to tell you what they won't do!
      • Our volunteers aren't childminders - they can't look after the children while you go out. BUT they can look after the children in one part of the house so that you can, for example: tidy up; make phone calls; sort laundry or even have a bath in peace!
      • Our volunteers aren't home-helps - they can't do your cleaning or tidying for you. BUT they can help you clean and tidy up. Sometimes an extra pair of hands and a bit of encouragement can make the big horrible jobs so much easier!
      • Our volunteers aren't taxi drivers - with changes to car seat laws and insurance premiums rising, volunteers can't use their cars to drive you somewhere. BUT they can help you with the children on the bus or train, or even with walking to the park, doctors or shopping.

Your volunteer will visit for two hours each week and offer emotional support and practical help - whatever you find most helpful!


  • What if I change my mind and don't want my volunteer to visit anymore?
    • You can change your mind at any time. Home-Start offers a voluntary service, you are inviting us into your home and our volunteers and staffs don't forget that. So, if at any time, you feel you don't want us or need us all you have to do is call your Co-ordinator and tell us. You can also change your mind back again! If you do, you don't need to be re-referred by another agency; you can just give us a call and restart support.


  • How long can I have my volunteer?
    • As long as there is one child under the age of 5 (or, if you have a child at the home with additional needs, it's as long as there is one child under the age of 11)  and you still want support, you could potentially have a volunteer for years!