We would never send anyone out to our families until we were absolutely certain they had the skills, training and support they needed to make it a positive experience for everyone. That is why all Family Support volunteers are required to complete a thorough training course that is delivered in 8 weekly sessions and will include supervision and review meetings as you go along.
The training sessions will prepare you for the home visiting role, covering topics such as child development, difficulties and issues experienced by families, boundaries and values, supervision and support, and will provide you with practical skills for working alongside parents and their children.
The next course is due to start on Wednesday 1st February. The course is being run in Stevenage but volunteers from all areas are welcome to attend as we provide support across the County, so you can be matched with families in your area (travel expenses will be reimbursed).
There will also be another one in May in St Albans if you are not able to attend the February one.
If you’d like to become a family support volunteer, or would like further information please contact Maggie Charles or Claire Bates on 01438 367788
Do I need any qualifications to be a Home-Start volunteer?
The only real ”qualification” needed, is experience of bringing up children. Friendliness and a caring attitude are essential as well as an understanding of the pressures of parenting. We value people who don’t judge others; people who respect the fact that they have been invited into a family’s home; people who treat a mother or father as an equal.
Do volunteers get any training?
Yes, we give high priority to the recruitment, induction, training and support of all the volunteers. You will be supported during your training and throughout your contact with families. Home-Start’s highly rated preparation course is also accredited by the Open College Network. If your scheme offers this accreditation you will be able to gain credits through formal recognition of your Home-Start training.
A quick guide to becoming a home visiting volunteer
- You must be a parent yourself, as we have found this is the best way to empathise with families.
- As a Home-Start volunteer you will support a family by visiting them at home for around two hours, once a week.
- You should be able to commit for at least six months to Home-Start.
- You should have a non-judgemental attitude and understanding about the pressures of bringing up a family.
- You will have to attend our free Volunteer Preparation Course with other new volunteers before meeting your first family.
- Expenses are paid during your training and while you are supporting a family. Help with childcare costs may be available.
- You must understand that your support for families is completely confidential.
- You will have to undergo a criminal record check at enhanced level.
- You will be supported by your local Home-Start during the time you are visiting families.