Preparing to become a Volunteer
To become a Home-Start Calderdale volunteer you must undertake one of our Volunteer Preparation Courses. These courses run at least four times a year in different locations around Calderdale.
Each session on the course is once a week for four hours and runs for ten weeks in total. Most preparation courses run between Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm, however once a year we run a preparation course on a Saturday for those who cannot make it during the week. If you are interested in attending a Saturday course, please do let us know.
Our preparation course is accredited through the Open College Network. For more details on the accreditation, click here.
Forthcoming prep dates can be found here
Each session covers a different area of volunteering with Home-Start and supporting a family in need.
Session 1: Introduction
This session is to enable volunteers to get to know one another, share your reasons for becoming a Home-Start volunteer and exlpore your expectations of the course and volunteering.
Session 2: Communication Skills
This session will focus on the need to understand the value of really listening to people and the important part that listening will play in their support of families.
Session 3: Values and Attitudes
This session will enable volunteers to think about their own values and attitudes and examine how these affect their work with the families they support.
Session 4: Family Life - Parents and Children
This session will help volunteers to think about what it means to be a parent and to consider different approaches to parenting.
Session 5: Family Life - Stress Factors 1
This session (and the next) is to increase awareness and understanding of the difficulties that the families they visit may be facing. This session will be dedicated to looking at the issues surrounding managing children's behaviour and an introduction to Attachment Theory.
Session 6: Family Life - Stress Factors 2
Most of the work this week will be dedicated to looking at the issues surrounding depression and domestic violence.
Session 7: Confidentiality
The session will help volunteers understand the essential part confidentiality plays in a relationship with a family.
Session 8: Safeguarding Children
This session will give volunteers the opportunity to consider what child abuse is and to be familiar with the procedures that need to be followed if they know or suspect that a child within the family they support has been abused.
Session 9: Commitment, Boundaries and Support
This session is to ensure that volunteers understand the length of commitment that is expected of them and an understanding of what can and cannot be expected of them as a volunteer.
Session 10: Home Visiting Mechanisms, Evaluations and Endings
This session will make clear that home visiting is central to the work of Home-Start and give volunteers the confidence to support families. It will also celebrate completion of the course and prepare volunteers for the road ahead.