Information For Referrers
Who can be referred?
Support is available to any family in Calderdale who is experiencing stress or difficulty and who has at least one child under the age of five years old.
Who can make referrals?
Families can refer themselves, or be referred to Home-Start Calderdale by any agency, e.g. Health Visitor, Social Worker, Family support worker, CPN, Sure-Start, teacher etc.
How do I make a referral?
For each referral made a referral form should be completed. Before sending in a referral form you must talk to the family, inform them about Home-Start and that it is a voluntary decision on their part, then ask the parent to show their agreement by signing the referral form. All referrals received will be assessed to determine whether or not:
- The family has willingly accepted the involvement of Home-Start Calderdale
- The referral falls within the remit of our scheme
- The referrer needs to provide further information prior to a visit by one of our co-ordinators
What happens if a referral is refused?
If the referral does not fall within the remit of the scheme, the referral will be rejected and the referrer will be informed that we cannot help on this occasion.
What happens if the referral is accepted?
All families that are accepted for Home-Start support will receive an initial visit by a co-ordinator to clarify their needs and the support that Home-Start can offer.
Do you have a waiting list?
Yes. Home-Start Calderdale aims to provide support to families as soon as possible, but where there isn't a volunteer available the family will go on to the waiting list. Most families are linked within two months, although on occasion families may be waiting longer than this.
How will I be kept informed of the progress of the referral?
Referrers will be informed by the co-ordinator:
- When the referral has been accepted or rejected
- When the initial visit has been scheduled
- When support is offered to a family i.e. when they are linked with a volunteer
- A family is placed on the waiting list
- Support to a family ends
All other contact with referrers is usually made by phone.
How are volunteers matched with families?
The co-ordinator pays careful attention to matching a volunteer's skills and experience to the needs of the family. Many factors are taken into consideration, including:
- The family's needs
- The volunteer's aptitudes, skills and experience
- Practical consideration: geography, transport, time
- Mutual interests or life experience
- What motivates the volunteers
- Issues around culture, gender, background and disability
The success of Home-Start support is dependent on the relationship that develops between the family and the volunteer, so co-ordinators make every effort to link sensitively and appropriately.
So you have a confidentiality policy?
All personal information about the families is treated as confidential, to be discussed only as necessary with the co-ordinator in support of the volunteer and to assist the family. Any disclosure of confidential information to any other person may only be undertaken with the expressed permission of the parents for the purpose of assisting the family, except where it is considered necessary for the welfare and protection of a child when information shall be shared with the appropriate authority.
How long is support offered for?
Volunteers provide continuous, regular support for a period of time consistent with a family's needs. These are assessed initially and reviewed periodically. Home-Start's aim is to encourage families towards independence so that the volunteer is no longer needed. The review process will determine how long the volunteer's support is likely to be needed and clear plans are made for ending suport in discussion with the volunteer and family.