Supporting families in North West Kent
Many parents need help, advice, support and friendship during those early years when children are young. Trained volunteers home visit those feeling isolated and in need of reassurance.
A team of 60 multicultural volunteers, speaking 18 languages between them, support families in Dartford, Gravesham, Swanley and surrounding villages for 2-3 hours each week, for anything between 6-15 months, having been carefully matched by staff frequently according to shared experience. Families referred by health and social professionals because they are:
- socially isolated with no friends or family
- suffering from post-natal illness
- coping with a disabled or sick child
- overwhelmed by grief after the loss of a loved one and unable to function
- struggling to cope with multiple birth
- suffering with depression / mental health
from a minority ethnic community with language support needs
A well established charity raising its own funds to support parents in some of the most deprived areas in Kent – many of whom struggle with additional challenges related to low income, debt management and unemployment.
Families in North West Kent are more ethnically diverse that any other Kent district – and recent data from Dartford and Gravesham Community Safety Partnership also shows an increase in domestic abuse and teenage pregnancies.
Home-Start NWK offers parents of pre-school children
- Weekly one-to-one home visits from a trained volunteer with relevant life experience
- Emotional and / or practical help
- Encouragement regarding positive parenting and community engagement
- Support groups [ inc. those for Post Natal Depression, Special Needs & Multiple Birth ]
- Outings and parties
- 18 languages spoken by trained volunteers
- Signposting to other agencies for specialist help
Home-Start is a charity that offers support, friendship and practical help to parents with young children, in local communities throughout the UK and supports more than thirty thousand families each year
Home-Start offers a unique service, recruiting and training volunteers who are parents themselves – to visit families with at least one child under five at home to offer informal, friendly and confidential support
To help give children the best possible start in life, we support parents as they grow in confidence, strengthen and enjoy relationships with their children plus widen links with the local community.
Home-Start aims to increase the confidence and independence of the family by:
- offering support, friendship and practical assistance
- visiting families in their own homes, where the dignity and identity of each adult and child can be respected and protected
- reassuring parents that difficulties in bringing up children are not unusual and encouraging them to enjoy family life
- developing a relationship with the family in which time can be shared and understanding can be developed, using a flexible approach to take account of different needs
- encouraging parents’ strengths and emotional well-being, for the ultimate benefit of the children
- encouraging families to widen their network of relationships and to use effectively the support and services available within the community