Home-Start Southwark

We're there for parents when they need us the most, because childhood can’t wait.

We're there for parents when they need us the most, because childhood can’t wait.


Refer a Family

When is a family eligible?

A family is eligible for our services if they live in the London Borough of Southwark, or SE8 and SE14 areas of Lewisham; who is in their 3rd trimester of pregnancy or has one or more children under the age of 5 (the child cannot be in full time education); are experiencing difficulties and have given their consent to having Home-Start support.

Who can refer a family?

Professionals and practitioners for example Health Visitor, midwife, GP, children centres, Social worker etc.  Family members or friends and parents can also refer themselves. If you are referring a relative, a friend or self-referring, we will need the details of a professional the referred family is working with or has worked with recently, such as a Health Visitor, Midwife, or other health and social care professional.

How to make a referral?

Whether you are a practitioner, a family member, a friend or self-referring, you can call the office and speak to one of our members of staff (02077377720).

Our staff will ask you some questions and explain how we may be able to support the family you wish to refer.

If you decide to go ahead, a referral form will need to be completed, following which a Family Support Co-ordinator will arrange a home visit to discuss the family’s needs and what services we can offer. Referral forms for the borough of Southwark can be found at the bottom of this page. Referral forms for The Lewisham Project (SE8 and SE14 only) can be found here.

The home visit will also be an opportunity for the family to ask any questions they may have.

What do we need to know about a family?

We will need to know everything that is relevant:

  • Why you feel the family needs Home-Start support and whether there are any health and safety issues.
  • Whether the parent(s) and/or child(ren) have additional needs or health issues
  • There is a Child in need or Child Protection plan or any Safeguarding issues
  • Which other agencies may be working with the family and what other help the family may be getting
  • Who lives in the household

 Within the Home-Start ethos of openness and honesty, we generally share with the volunteer all the referral details. We believe that this helps the volunteer give the most effective support. The volunteer respects confidentiality (see below).

(As a worker we need to know if you close a case, go on extended leave, another worker replaces you etc)

What happens after a referral is made?

  • If there are any further queries, a Family Support Coordinator may ring you.
  • We aim to contact the family within 2 weeks of the referral to arrange a home-visit by a Family Support coordinator.
  • In exceptional circumstances a joint visit with the referrer could be made.
  • The purpose of the visit is for the Family Support coordinator to discuss and assess the family’s needs and to see how best we can support them. This is also a time used to explain more about our services.
  • At a weekly team meeting the Family Support coordinators discuss which volunteers are available and which might be most suitable for each family.
  • We arrange a further visit to introduce the family and volunteer, agree on how the volunteer will support the family, when the visits will take place, when a review will be held etc.
  • The volunteer will receive support throughout their time with the family
  • We will inform you when we have matched a volunteer to the family, agreed their working objectives and when our service with the family comes to an end.

 Southwark Referral Forms

You can download a referral form* from the section below. Please download the form in your preferred format (MS Word or PDF), fill it out, and return it to info@homestartsouthwark.org.uk. If you prefer, you can also print the form out and send it to us at our address: 7-14 Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YR.

For Lewisham referral forms, click here.

Both documents also include a consent statement. 


*Note: We can only offer support once a referral from has been completed.


Find out more about how we match volunteers and families

Policies relating Referrals and Confidentiality

We have a number of policies online that relate to handling referrals, privacy and confidentiality. You can locate them on this page: Policies.

Please note: Home-Start is not a crisis intervention service and we are not able to respond at very short notice. If you are unsure whether a referral is suitable, please call us on 020 7737 7720 and our co-ordinators will be happy to help.

BBC Children in Need
Lottery Funded
Henry Smith Charity
United St Saviour's Charity Southwark