The essence of Home-Start is best described through the testimonials of its service users. In their own words, they convey the true mission of Home-Start like no one else could.
Questions & Answers
Anyone with at least one child under the age of 5 living in the Dublin 15 area.
Ask your Public Health nurse to refer you to the service.
We help with all kinds of issues like, Isolation, bereavement, Mental Health issues, Post-natal Depression, as well as just day to day issues that impact family life.
We offer one to one volunteer support in the home. We offer Parenting courses, Family morning for peer support, we also have a respite creche facility on site.
Our volunteers are parents who have raised their children to a level where they have a little time on their hands and want to support mothers of young children. Most want to be available for their family but remembers how isolating having a baby can be.
All our volunteers do an 8 week preparation course, this gives us a chance to get to know them and them to get to know us which also helps with the matching process. All our volunteers are Garda Vetted and provide full references. Volunteers are matched with families. This is really important are we are trying to create a supportive friendship.
Confidentiality is the most important role of the volunteer. We are visiting families when they are most vulnerable, and respect of their privacy is vital. The volunteer is not there to judge or pass comment on your situation but support the family to make the best choices for their own situations.
It takes time to build relationships and trust so by visiting every week, when agreed, the volunteer builds up trust and the parent becomes to realise that the volunteer is there for them in a non-judgemental way.
Once the volunteer is placed, they visit once a week for about 2 hours for as long as needed. We have found once the child start school the need drops as the parent makes friends and can get involved in groups or has time to do some courses, so it is a natural cut off. Sometimes the volunteer and the parent go on to become friends but their official role as a Home-Start volunteer would cease and they may move on to another family.
Yes, we always welcome parents who have received the service to become volunteers and they bring a wealth of experience with them. Having been on both sides they can share how it felt to have a volunteer which is a great benefit to other volunteers.