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Charity (no. 1153287)

Home-Start Herts in St Albans

"Improving outcomes for kids across Hertfordshire"

Who We Help, Why We Help & the Difference It Makes

Our Children's Charity is Dedicated to Supporting Families in Herts

Home-Start Herts is a children's charity and empowering-visionary family support service, built on trusted relationships and rooted in the community. 

From 1st April 2016 six of the Hertfordshire schemes joined together to create the all new Home-Start Hertfordshire. Although we are one centralised scheme based in Stevenage, we continue to have a couple of operational staff who work remotely in each local area to ensure we maintain close links with the community and are accessible to our families and volunteers.

These staff operate in Dacorum, North Herts,  East Herts, St Albans  and Welwyn Hatfield

We are a local family charity that offers emotional and practical support to parents with at least one child under 12.  Our team of trained volunteers visit families in their own home, building trusted relationships and providing focused support that is tailored to the family's individual needs.

Our Services Are


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Home-Start helps families with young children deal with whatever life throws at them. We support parents as they learn to cope, improve their confidence and build better lives for their children. We believe it is crucial to help families deal with problems before they become a crisis. The benefits of our support include improved health and well being and better family relationships.

One to one support for parents 

We recruit family support volunteers, all of whom have experience of parenting and want to get involved in charity work. They undertake a thorough training and assessment programme, and continue to have on going training and supervision throughout their time with Home-Start. Once the volunteer is matched with a family, they visit them in their home for a couple of hours each week. They provide practical and emotional support to help the family work through the challenges they are facing. This support may be to help them get out of the house and visit a group, or do a food shop, it may be looking after the baby whilst the parent has some 1:1 time with the other child/ren. Sometimes our families need support with routines, diet or managing challenging behaviours all the things that can slip when there is added stress and pressure in the household. Parents tell us they value their relationship with their volunteer as it is non judgemental and built on trust; this positive relationship is what facilitates powerful changes within the family.

School Support 

Big Hopes Big Futures (BHBF) For many children barriers exist that mean they start school already behind their peers. That gap widens throughout primary and Secondary school. This programme prepares families for school, working with parents and children helping them build the skills they need to be ready for the first day of school. The volunteer delivers the program in the family home for up to 18 weeks, which based on research, ensures the progress continues after support has ended.  

Group Support 

Some families don’t want or need one-to-one support from a volunteer but still need a bit of support. If this is the case, we are able to offer families support at one of our Family Groups. There are groups currently running in the Hertsmere and Hertford area. Further groups are planned, details will follow shortly! Trained Home-Start staff and volunteers run the groups. They run weekly all year round and have themes and topics which vary from week to week, these are often chosen by the parents in the group. 

There are many benefits of coming to a group 

  • You and your children can meet other families 
  • Your children get the chance to play, learn and have fun with other children 
  • You get the chance to meet and talk to other parents – and many parents discover they are going through the same kinds of experiences and feel less alone groups are a great place to pick up advice, tips and help from Home-Start and other parents 

Find out whether you or the family you know, can GET SUPPORT here. Or contact us for further infomation

Out of the Blue: Perinatal Mental Illness support project 

The project supports women in their third trimester, who are at risk of Perinatal Mental Illness in the Stevenage and Hemel Hempstead areas. The perinatal period is vital for children's development and a mother's mental health can have a huge impact on this. Families who have been identified as vulnerable to perinatal depression will receive weekly support, from volunteers with specialist training. 

They may be vulnerable due to issues such as:

 - History of mental health

 - Previous traumatic childbirth/miscarriage/infant mortality 

- Domestic abuse 

Families or professionals can refer please contact us if you wish to discuss a family or make a referral

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