Who can be referred?
Our aim is to operate an open referral policy, ensuring that support is available to any family who is experiencing stress or difficulty. We have several funded projects and encourage you to get in touch to see if your potential referral is eligible for Home-Start support.
Our current projects are:
As part of the Stronger Families Programme across Bradford and Leeds, we support families in Bradford who are facing challenges in being able to develop their skills, move towards the world of work and secure employment. The Stronger Families programme is funded through The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund.
Keighley Building Family Resilience
For any family in the Keighley constituency, who has at least one child under 5 years of age. This project is funded the the Big Lottery Fund.
Home-Start Better Start
Part of the Better Start Bradford family projects for families who are expecting a baby or who have a child up to 3 years old. The family must live in one of 3 wards - Bradford Moor, Bowling & Barkerend or Little Horton. This project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund through Better Start Bradford.
Please contact us if your family does not fit into any of these categories as we may have additional funding and still be able to help.
Who can make referrals?
Families can refer themselves, or be referred to Home-Start Bradford District by any agency, eg. Health Visitor, Social Worker, Family Support Worker, Midwife, Children's Centres, Voluntary Sector worker etc.
How do I make a referral?
Referrals for Stronger Families need to go through the Bradford Hub Manager based at Barnardos. Contact Cath Ormerod, Hub Manager, email: email@example.com, telephone: 01274 513300.
For all other referrals, the referring agency or professional should download, complete and return our referral form (either by fax, post or in person - please do not email). Please note that you before you send in a referral form the family must be consulted and informed of its contents, and they must sign the privacy notice at the end of the form to give their consent.
We recommend calling the office before completing a referral form to have a chat about the requirements of the family you are referring, and to check that we can provide support to them.
Families who wish to refer themselves can call the office in the first instance (without completing a referral form). A member of staff will take the relevant information when you call.
All personal information about parents and families is treated as confidential, to be discussed only as necessary with the Coordinator in support of the volunteer and to assist the family. Any disclosure of confidential information to any other person may only be undertaken with the express permission of the parents for the purpose of assisting the family, except where it is considered necessary for the welfare and protection of a child when information shall be shared with the appropriate authority.
Frequently asked questions
How are referrals assessed?
All referrals received will be assessed to determine whether or not:
- The family has willingly chosen to be supported by us
- The family lives in an area currently supported by us
- The referral falls within our remit
- The referrer needs to provide further information prior to a visit by the Family & Volunteer Coordinator
- The Scheme is likely to have the resources to support the family
What happens if a referral is refused? Do you have a waiting list?
If the referral does not fall within our remit or funded areas, or there is not a suitable volunteer available to provide support, the referrer will be informed that we cannot help on this occasion.
We aim to provide support to families as soon as possible, but where there is not a suitable volunteer available the referrer will be informed and asked to let the family know. You may be asked to re-refer at a future date.
What happens if a referral is accepted?
All families that are accepted for our support will receive an initial visit by a Family & Volunteer Coordinator before support is offered, to clarify their needs and the support that we can offer.
How will I be kept informed of the progress of a referral?
Referrers will be informed by the Coordinator:
- Whether the referral has been accepted or not
- When a family is matched with a volunteer
- When support to a family ends
How are volunteers matched with families?
The Coordinator pays careful attention to matching volunteers' skills and experience to the needs of families. Many factors are taken into consideration, including:
- The family's needs
- The volunteer's aptitudes, skills and experience
- Practical considerations: geography, transport and time
- Mutual interests or life experience
- Issues around culture, gender, background and disability
The success of our support is dependent on the relationship that develops between the family and the volunteer, so Coordinators make every effort to match families sensitively and appropriately. The Coordinator always accompanies the volunteer on the first visit to introduce the volunteer to the family and agree the ground rules for visiting.
How long is support offered for?
Volunteers provide continuous, regular support for a period of time consistent with a family's needs. These are assessed initially and reviewed periodically. Our aim is to encourage families towards independence so that the volunteer is no longer needed. The review process will determine how long the volunteer's support is likely to be needed and clear plans will be made for ending the support in discussion with the volunteer and family.
How are volunteers screened?
All volunteers meet the requirements of our personal specification. They are interviewed before being invited to attend a ten-day Preparation Course, and undergo a second interview before a decision is made by the Family & Volunteer Coordinator about their suitability for placement with a Home-Start Bradford District family. We take up two references and an enhanced DBS check.
Something has gone wrong
Should you have any concerns regarding services received from Home-Start Bradford District, please follow our Complaints Procedure.