Never Too Early - Supporting Families & Children
Home-Start Ashford offers emotional & practical help at home to vulnerable, isolated, disadvantaged families with young children. "Helping parents give their children the best possible start in life"; support at the very start of young lives can reduce inequality,improve well being and life chances.
January 2018 - December 2018
Charity information: Home-start Ashford & District
Families and children referred to us have diverse and complicated difficulties in their lives. Difficulties families face can be practical and/or emotional including social isolation, depression and mental health disorders, physical illness, disability, additional needs and ASD, behavioural problems, bereavement, domestic abuse, multiple births, poverty, lone parenting, substance abuse etc. Parents facing added difficulties often lack confidence and resources to tackle their problems.
By visiting families and children at home, and in an environment where they are safe, they build up a trusting relationship with their volunteer and are more receptive to suggestions, strategies and general support.Volunteers tailor support to individual families accordingly and can include attending medical and developmental appointments, cooking healthy meals, budget advice, listening visits, respite, trips out, play events, reading, school transition, form filling, parenting advice and more.
Improve parental confidence and well being
Activities» Home-visiting. A volunteer will visit a whole family once a week for up to one year depending on need, to offer support and strategies for change.
What success will look like
Staff visit families regularly throughout their support and record a 'journey of change' on our system called MESH.This is a robust monitoring system used for all projects.
Improve child access to play & learning opportunities
Activities» Home-Visiting. A weekly home-visiting volunteer will introduce the family to local Children's Centres, libraries and bring activities to the home
» Groups and trips. We run 2 groups which parents/children can access offering information for parents and educational sessions for children.
What success will look like
As above. We will also seek some views through a family feedback session at the end of the project.
Parents will record improved levels of confidence in terms of tackling their difficulties by using alternative strategies and problem solving methods. We ask parents to score their 'progress' at the end of the support so we have a tangible record of progress and impact on families' lives.
Longer term, families are empowered to use more services with their children, theyuse more effective strategies to keep themselves well and healthy e.g in choices they make about relationships, lifestyle etc.
The infrastructure is fully established to support the project as it will be part of the ongoing work we do at Home-Start Ashford. I do not forsee any threat to the success of the project if we receive the funds needed. We have staff in place to carry this work out.
We issue a Funder's Update every 6 months which allows funders and donors to see what services we have provided, numbers supported etc. It also acknowledges their donation and how we use it. We will also invite funders/donors to events throughout the year where appropriate e.g AGM etc.
Budget - Project Cost: £10,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £5,800 Salary costs 8-10 satff hours per week to supervise/train volunteers, review families. £1,500 Activities Resources, refreshments, venue £2,700 Volunteer costs Expenses: petrol, telephone. Team meetings, training.
Our offices are based in Ashford, Kent and we support families and volunteers across the borough including Tenterden , Wye and surrounding villages. The area has large 'pockets' of deprivation such as Kennington and South Ashford as well as a growing traveller population nearby on the outskirts of Ashford town centre. There is continued major housing development in Ashford and Tenterden which always has an impact on our level of referrals as we see new families come into the borough.
Any family with at least one child under 8 years can refer to our service. We do not have a hierarchy of need although a family must voluntarily accept the support and engage with the service for it to be effective. The majority of families we support are living in disadvantaged circumstances in terms of poverty, housing, ability and access to services. We try to help families redress this imbalance. Ultimately, children are the most significant beneficiaries as we support as early as possible.
We have been established for 29 years and well respected and used with all stakeholders from funding partners to health professionals. The current staff team has a wealth of experience working with families and volunteers and 2 staff have been employed by Home-Start for over 10 years. Our home-visiting service is still unique in Ashford and there is nothing comparable on this scale. The feedback we receive from families, volunteers and referrers is specific about its positive impact on children
Read more about the Charity running this project.