Services available

Working with Home-Start South Yorkshire

Home-Start wants to see that all parents have the support they need to give their children the best possible start in life. Our work makes families’ and children’s lives much better.

Outcomes for Parents:

  • Improved parental health and well-being. ● Improved parenting skills ●Improved management of children’s behaviour ● Increased engagement of parents in their local community services.

Outcomes for Children:

  • Improved relationships with, and attachment to, parent/s ● Improved cognitive abilities, motor skills, social-emotional development ● Improved emotional and mental resilience ● Increased safety and security of child. ● Increased skills and confidence to engage with school (school readiness)

What we do?

Home-Start offers a unique service. We recruit and train volunteers, who are parents themselves, to visit families at home.

Our aim is to help give children the best possible start in life, by supporting parents to grow in confidence, develop and strengthen their relationship with their children and widen their links with the local community.

How we do it?

  • A volunteer with parenting experience to visit parents with young children at home. The volunteer offers tailor-made one-to-one support, regularly – usually on a weekly basis.
  • Emotional support to help parents find ways to manage and resolve problems.
  • Direct support for children including playing, listening, having fun, establishing routines, encouraging development and providing opportunities for outings and treats.
  • Practical help with getting to appointments, doing the shopping, budgeting, nutrition and meal planning, cooking and making the home safe.
  • Outreach and family groups so parents can get out, meet others, and become more involved in their own community.
  • Information and links to other organisations including health and educational services.
  • Attendance at meetings and moral support, especially in relation to dealing with case conferences or solicitors and court cases.
  • Access to parenting advice and parenting skills training.

We offer:

  • Specialist work with women experiencing Post-natal Depression.
  • Family groups offering support to vulnerable parents from disadvantaged areas, new mothers and women with Postnatal Depression.
  • Specialist support to vulnerable expectant and new mothers to support them to develop secure relationships with their babies, through our ‘Early Days’ Project
  • Outreach and home-visiting support to parents with a variety of needs across the city.

Please note: We are not able to place volunteers into homes where they may be at risk, for example where there is on-going domestic violence, drug/alcohol misuse.

Home-Visiting Volunteers

This is our main area of work. Volunteers visit families once a week in their own homes, to support them with a wide variety of difficulties, offering practical assistance, friendship and support, in a confidential and non-judgemental way. Home-visiting and outreach support is available across the region.

We also have a number of projects that offer specialist support to families:

 Post Natal Depression

For women who are experiencing or are vulnerable to Post Natal Depression. Any parent with a child under 1 will be considered for support. We also have Post-Natal Depression groups available (see ‘Groups’ below) for parents to access if they are confident enough to leave the house or with the support of a volunteer, if it is felt to be appropriate.

Early Attachment

We work across the region to provide specialist support to vulnerable expectant or new mothers, helping them to develop secure attachments with their babies and become attuned to their emotional needs. We offer support in a variety of ways dependent upon the needs of the mothers referred. Support can include Home-visiting by a volunteer, to provide support, friendship and practical assistance to parents; and Group work led by the co-ordinator focused on babies development and mothers’ own needs. We also run groups for Under 1s, available (see ‘Groups’ on below).

Transition to Safe Independence

Home-Start has secured funding to continue the Transition to Safe Independence (TSI) Project. This is a new project to support mothers and children who have experienced domestic abuse as they move from supported accommodation in a refuge to safe independent living in a new home and community. We are working with domestic abuse agencies in the city to provide support to vulnerable families at a critical point in their recovery. Support is offered by Family Support workers and volunteers.

Parents & Children Together

Our home-visiting volunteers can support families to get their child ready for school. We will support parents in preparing their children so that they can start school able to learn. The Project is funded by Stepping Stones (Royal Masonic Trust). We also are looking for volunteers who want to play a part in this vital new project—extra training is provided.

Group Support

Our groups offer a welcoming, non threatening environment for parents to meet, make friends and engage in activities for their own and their child’s personal development:


Group Time and Place Criteria
Sunny Days Monday 12.30 – 2.30pm

St Paul’s Church & Centre

Norton Lees Lane

Co-ordinator – Sara McClean

· For women vulnerable to or diagnosed with Post Natal Depression

· Programme of activities for parents and children


Friendship & Babies Tuesday 1 – 3pm

Hillsborough Arena

Co-ordinator – Joanne Glen

· For women vulnerable to or diagnosed with Post Natal Depression

· Programme of activities for parents and children

Ecclesfield Under 1s Group Friday 9.30 – 11.15am

Gatty Memorial Hall

Priory Rd


Co-ordinator – Elaine McKenna

· Focused on Early Attachment and bonding for expectant and new mothers

· Programme of activities for parents and children

· Parents can pop in if they feel the group would be useful to them

 Little Monkeys Thursdays 10-12

Hope House Church
Bulcher Street, Barnsley
S70 1SW

· Focused on Early Attachment and bonding for expectant and new mothers

· Programme of activities for parents and children

· Parents can pop in if they feel the group would be useful to them

 Little Dimples Fridays 10-11:30
(term time)Herringthorpe United Reform Church, Wickersley Rd
Rotherham S60 4JN
  • Programme of activities for parents and children

· Parents can pop in if they feel the group would be useful to them