Home-Start International

When our lad was younger we were fortunate to have access to Home-Start. A lovely lady would come to the house for a couple of hours a week and effectively act as a baby-sitter (although we usually didn’t go out!). Its sound trivial but let me tell you those couple of hours where cherished as we have little family support and little respite. Still don’t in fact – is that violins I hear…

Home-Start International is a worldwide family support organization, working to give children a better start in life.

Home-Start works with people who have parenting experience to support local parents who need help. Volunteers are trained to listen with respect, without judging and to help the family to make links with the local community.

Home-Start schemes have been established in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Kenya, Lithuania, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda and the United Kingdom. Each national Home-Start scheme or association will support families with at least one child under five.

Home-Start International’s Work

Home-Start helps parents to manage their problems, to build their confidence and to extend their social networks. Emphasis is on early intervention, helping to break the cycle of disadvantage and to reduce the risk of isolation and vulnerability continuing into future generations.

The service comprises regular, non-judgemental friendship and practical help. Support is delivered by trained volunteers. Each volunteer has parenting experience and can offer empathy and understanding to parents in need.

Parents come to Home-Start for all kinds of reasons.

  • They could be finding it hard to cope with a child’s illness or disability
  • They could be struggling with their own health
  • They might be living in debt, poor housing and poverty
  • They may be trying to meet the demands of a large family or twins

All of them welcome the support of another parent.


Home-Start International is a non-profit organisation constituted as a Charitable organization|charity in the UK (UK charity number 1076991).

Around the world, Home-Start supports families through local schemes, recruiting volunteers and staff locally. Many schemes are run as independent charities or non-profit organisations, with their own independent management committees or boards.

The majority of schemes are also part of a national association, which is itself generally an independent charity or non-profit organisation. Governance structures vary from country to country, but all Home-Start national associations have professional staff and a management committee or board.


Home-Start International is largely funded by philanthropic trusts and foundations and by corporate partners.

Home-Start schemes and national associations around the world are funded by a mix of private, corporate, government and philanthropic giving.

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