Home-Start supports families who may be struggling to cope with a variety of challenges, including post-natal illness, disability, isolation, the demands of parenting young children, bereavement and multiple births: helping prevent these difficulties from escalating into crises, and crises from developing into family breakdown.

Home-Start support is not a substitute for professional services but complementary to them, and the best results are achieved through an active partnership between professionals and Home-Start. Since we are a voluntary organisation it can offer a flexible approach to individual families.

Who can refer families to Home-Start?

Our referrals come mainly from health visitors, family support workers, early years professionals, social workers and GPs. Indeed any one working in the social care and child care sectors. Families can also refer themselves.

The welfare of children

Home-Start is committed to promoting the safety and welfare of children. The special relationship that Home-Start develops with families means that staff and volunteers may become alert to any concerns about the children’s safety and well being.

All of our volunteers, staff and trustees sign up to the Home-Start code of conduct for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and have criminal records checks at the appropriate level alongside other recruitment, induction, training and supervisory arrangements. Together these help to safeguard the children we support.


Throughout Home-Start’s relationship with a family, all personal information about parents and families is treated as confidential, to be discussed only as necessary with the Home-Start organiser in support of the volunteer and to assist the family.

Confidential information will only be shared with appropriate agencies with the 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.

How do I make a referral?

Families in need of support must have at least one child under the age of five and live within Leicester, Charnwood, Melton or Rutland, Blaby District, Oadby and Wigston.

Please discuss the referral to Home-Start Horizons with the family – they MUST agree and be willing to accept our support.

Download a referral form and complete it, providing an indication of the family’s needs. Post or e-mail the completed referral form to us

Contact us on 0116 2795062 if you would like to discuss further with one of our team before referring a family.

What happens next?

Once a referral is accepted, we arrange an initial visit with the family to discuss their needs and tell them about what support is available to them from Home-Start Horizons.

We carefully match the skills and experiences of a volunteer to the needs of a family, who is then taken along to be introduced to the family.

Volunteers visit weekly at a mutually convenient time to support the family with their needs.

Referrers are kept fully informed throughout the process of referral, matching and at regular intervals during the period of support by the volunteer.