Home-Start and Children’s Legislation
“Home-Start is actually working with children in need before they become a crisis…Home-Start is very well placed to support any local authority in supporting families and children in need” - Negotiated Friendship by Frost et al.
Home-Start fits in well with current children’s legislation and related guidance, which promote:
The welfare of the child as paramount
The upbringing of children in their own Home
Support for families to care for their own children
Support for families at an early stage
Support for children in need
Statutory and voluntary agencies working together to provide support for families
Development of Children’s Services Plans
Working in Partnership and Communication
“Home-Start provides excellent back up for families either in acute crisis or in order to avoid acute crisis if the home situation starts to deteriorate due to parental inability to cope” General Practitioner
Home-Start is valued by other agencies as a useful addition to the services they provide for families. The volunteer’s friendly support is not a substitute for professional services and the best results are achieved through an active partnership between professionals and Home-Start.
The Co-ordinator ensures that volunteers are familiar with the roles of social workers, health visitors and other professional workers. Other agencies have a working knowledge of Home-Start practice and procedures.
“Play and development have come on as a direct result of Home-Start. I am less worried about it and therefore I haven’t been to visit for some time. Before I was going every two or three week.” - Health Visitor.
Home-Start aims to ensure that while confidentiality is not breached, there is always ready access to the expertise of the health visitor, social worker or other professional workers if needed, to benefit the family.
All information about parents and families is treated as confidential, to be discussed only as necessary with the co-ordinator in support of the volunteer to assist the family. Any disclosure of the 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 protection of a child when information shall be shared with the appropriate authority. (Home-Start Standards and Methods of Practice)