Who we are and What we do
What exactly does Home-Start offer?
Home-Start addresses families with young children who feel pressure or find it difficult to deal with their daily life because of financial problems, divorce, inter-family relationships, a member’s disability, illness or death, postpartum depression, immigration and social marginalization, loneliness, a large number of children and many other reasons. Home-Start provides the family with a trained volunteer who usually has parental experience and who, under the guidance of a professional, is linked to a family which she/he regularly visits (once a week for 2-3 hours) sharing her/his parental experience and working with the parents to help them cope with the pressures of life, create a positive family environment, develop their skills and confidence and get the strength they need in order to help their children and provide them with better prospects in life.
Home-Start in the world, as the years pass, has enriched its core home-visiting activity with new approaches and complementary activities such as parent groups, parent training, drop-in centres for families, special programmes for the integration of children in the school environment, activities for immigrants and other. It also collaborates with other services to better serve families.
Home-Start is an international programme
Home-Start is an international programme launched in 1973 in the United Kingdom by Margaret Harrison and is currently being implemented in 23 countries across five continents serving annually over 40000 families and 80000 children through 20000 volunteers.
All Home-Start schemes around the world are linked to each other through UK-based Home-Start Worldwide. This organization sets international quality standards, including standards for the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults, that all Home-Start schemes around the world have to follow. It also helps to exchange good practice between Home-Starts, produces educational material, organizes conferences and supports the development of Home-Start in new countries.
Home-Start in Greece
In Greece, following its pilot implementation in Thessaloniki, the first Home-Start scheme began operating in Volos in 2006. Unfortunately, for financial reasons, it was forced to shut down in 2012.
Today, two Home-Start schemes operate in Greece, one in Athens and one in Piraeus. The Athens scheme has been running since 2011 and the Piraeus scheme since 2015. Home-Start Athens was "adopted" by the child and family organization "One Child – One World" http://www.paidi-kosmos.gr/
and has been operating under its auspices since January 2019. In total, these two schemes, by the end of 2017, had served 276 families with home visits while were provided with relevant for them information or were referred to other services. During the same period, 106 volunteers were trained.
Home-Start Hellas, a non-profit organisation, is the national partner of Home-Start Worldwide, the international organization supporting Home-Starts around the world. Home-Start Hellas has a key role to play in securing international standards in Home-Start schemes operating in our country. It also helps develop and supports Home-Start schemes in Greece collaborating with organizations and groups of people interested in running a Home-Start scheme in their area or within their organization (2016 - 2017 - 2018 accounts).