Home-Start Winchester and Districts

The leading family support charity


Who can refer?

Home-Start has an open referral policy, and only limits referrals where there is a lack of resources.
Families may be referred to Home-Start by:

  • their health visitor
  • their social worker
  • the community psychiatric nurse
  • their GP
  • children’s centres
  • other agencies.

We build and maintain relationships with potential referrers so that they are clear about what Home-Start can and cannot offer and that the primary purpose of Home-Start is to offer support, friendship and practical help to families in their own homes. The Coordinator responds to referrals with a letter or visit to the family as soon as possible. Once a referral is received the Coordinator will determine whether or not:

  • the family has willingly chosen Home-Start
  • the referral falls within the remit of the scheme
  • the referrer needs to provide further information prior to a visit by the Coordinator
  • the scheme is likely to have the resources to support this family.

Referral forms

For each referral made a referral form must be completed. The Home-Start Monitoring and Evaluation system has carefully designed referral forms that enable the referrer to indicate, in their view, how best the family may benefit from Home-Start support. The core areas of need indicated have been carefully selected and piloted to match the core services provided to families. There is also space to identify additional needs. The referral forms and initial visit forms are linked to review forms that will be used to monitor and evaluate Home-Start support as it proceeds and concludes. The referral form should make clear that families must be consulted before being referred to Home-Start. Information on the form includes:

  • family details
  • family needs
  • health and safety issues
  • background information that may be useful for Home-Start support to be effective.

To discuss a possible referral or for further information please contact our Coordinator Anne Macpherson on 01962 851177. Referral forms are also available online below. 

Refusing a referral

If the referral does not fall within the remit of the scheme or there are insufficient resources to provide support, the referrer will be informed that Home-Start cannot help.

Home-Start WInchester and District Referral Form

Two versions of the Referral Form are available below for you to download. If you have MS Word available download and use the MS Word version. If you are unable to edit an MS Word document, use the PDF version which you can save and print. You can return the completed form by post or by email. If you wish to send by email, please password protect the document first. Contact the office for more details. 

Waiting lists

Schemes are not encouraged to keep waiting lists. However, if it is envisaged that it may be possible to offer support within a relatively short time (one to two months) and the family and referrer agree, then the referral may be put onto a waiting list. If support is not available after two months then the family and referrer should be told that Home-Start support is unavailable for the foreseeable future.

Response to Referrer

The Coordinator will respond to the referrer within two weeks to indicate the status of the referral. The Coordinator must ensure that the referrer is clear when:

  • the Coordinator will be making the initial visit
  • a referral has been taken up and the nature of support to be offered, i.e. linked to a volunteer, Family Group support
  • a referral has not been taken up so Home-Start will not be providing support.
  • a family is placed on a waiting list (see note above).
  • support to a family ends.