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 three 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. Forthcoming prep dates can be found here
If you would like us to send you a Volunteer Information Pack, please call 01422 242124 or submit a form on the contact page. However, if you would like to download the information for yourself, please click on the relevant sections below. All downloads are in a pdf format.
Each session covers a different area of volunteering with Home-Start and supporting a family in need.
- Session 1: Introduction
- Session 2: Communication Skills
- Session 3: Values and Attitudes
- Session 4: Family Life - Parents and Children
- Session 5: Family Life - Stress Factors 1
- Session 6: Family Life - Stress Factors 2
- Session 7: Confidentiality
- Session 8: Safeguarding Children
- Session 9: Commitment, Boundaries and Support
- Session 10: Home Visiting Mechanisms, Evaluations and Endings
Accreditation through the Prep Course
Home-Start Calderdale is registered with the Open College Network to allow our volunteers to gain a qualification whilst attending the preparation course and supporting families. The accrediation process is completely voluntary - we don't mind if you don't want to do it but will support you fully if it is something you feel would be of benefit to your personal development - and low cost, only £15.00 for the whole Level 2 course.
If you decide to undertake the OCN accreditation, there are worksheets in your preparation folder to work through over the ten weeks of the preparation course. Once you are linked to a family after the course you will be asked to produce a reflective piece of work to complete the OCN accreditation.
What are these worksheets?
The purpose of the worksheets are for you to record your development during the course, what you have learned and to help identify any future training and/or support you may wish from Home-Start Calderdale.
Why am I keeping them?
This will be part of your portfolio towards the attainment of the Open College Network (OCN) Level 2, 3 Credits. The course has one unit which has 5 learning outcomes. You will have the opportunity to gain other credits one year after home visiting has commenced.
For the Preparation Course for Home Visiting you need 30 hours study/learning. The course covers 40 hours alone and you will be keeping a reflective journal as you progress, so don't worry about this.
The Learning Outcomes for the Level 2 are:
- Understand the role of the Home-Start volunteer in the context of Home-Start Policies and Procedures.
- Demonstrate the awareness, attitudes, skills and knowledge needed to be a Home-Start volunteer
- Demonstrate understanding of the needs of families and the provision available to support them
- Understand the different ways Home-Start supports and develops volunteers
What if you are not sure you want this?
Do not be put off at this stage - the whole course is designed around you as a parent and all the skills and knowledge you have gained but have hidden away and you can share a lot and learn from each other on this course. We can provide lots of support if you feel it would helpful - we can also just leave you alone with it if you'd prefer!
You will be covering the same course as any other Home-Start Calderdale Volunteer except you have the advantange to have it recognised and accredited by the OCN.
At any point during the course your co-ordinator is available for any questions, queries or worries you may have!