Could you support parents with children of pre-school age?

What is the role: Family Befriender for parents with pre-school age childrenhome-start

Who is the role for: Home-Start Oxford

When does the volunteering take place: Once a week for 2 – 4 hours

Where does the volunteering take place: Mostly in families’ homes with some trips and visits out e.g. to appointments or to help with shopping etc.

What does the role involve: The role involves offering practical and emotional support to families – this could be around parenting, reducing social isolation or with practical tasks around the home. Sometimes volunteers attend appointments with families and will help them research their options with regards to housing, benefits etc. – with the support of a Family Coordinator, who is always on hand to advise.

Why you should sign up to this role: Volunteering for Home-Start is hugely rewarding: it fosters positive relationships and can bring a huge sense of satisfaction when you see a family move from barely coping to thriving.

“I am told that I am a lifeline and can see what a difference a few hours of someone showing they care and giving emotional and practical support makes.” Home-Start Volunteer

“What you do is invaluable – it’s unique and very special. My volunteer has had the patience of a saint, fantastic ideas and has been very accepting of our family situation.” Home-Start Family

Skills required for this role: Due to the nature of this role, Home-Start are looking for people who have experience of being a parent or carer (grandparent, foster carer etc). You need to be able to commit to supporting a family for 6 – 12 months. The key skills you will require as a volunteer are patience, empathy, a non-judgemental approach and a practical approach.

You will be required to attend a Volunteer Preparation Course for 4 hours a week for 8 weeks. This covers everything you need to know including safeguarding and there is ongoing support.

  • Due to the nature of this role references and a DBS check are required
  • Once you are on the course, 2 references will be required. These can be friends, professional or character references for people (other than family) who have known you for at least 2 years
  • If you are concerned about the DBS check do speak to Home-Start. Not all disclosures prevent you from supporting a family.
  • If you do not have access to a car, the Co-ordinator will try to pair you with a family closer to home

Interested in finding out more: Email admin@homestart-oxford.org.uk or call 01865 779991