Start a Home-Start

Setting up Home-Start in a country for the first time takes energy and drive

But it’s worth the effort! At Home-Start Worldwide we have worked with energetic innovators on five continents, all of them passionate about supporting families with young children.

And in more than 20 countries, those committed individuals, who may act independently or through an organisation, have pushed and worked and persuaded and cajoled and recruited and fundraised until they were able to start helping families. Our social entrepreneurs are pioneers, often bringing this kind of family support and volunteering to a country for the first time. Those who have already succeeded are now seeing the benefits to families and children in their communities.

Everyone interested in starting Home-Start in their country is helped by Home-Start Worldwide, and by other members of the Home-Start network. From the moment you think you might like to go ahead, Home-Start Worldwide can offer you information, support and guidance. Once you decide to go ahead, you may be invited to take part in training courses or international meetings. Eventually, if all goes well, you will be invited to join the Home-Start network and become a member of our lively family!

What can you expect from Home-Start Worldwide?

Home-Start Worldwide will provide information on how to set up a Home-Start in your country, as well as guidance on what Home-Start is and does. Our support may include advice, tips and help with:

  • Finding funding
  • How to find the right people to help you
  • What steps to go through, in what order
  • Building relationships with other organisations
  • Finding volunteers - and families for them to support
  • How to run an organisation
  • Guidance on insurance, legal requirements, governance
  • Mentoring by another Home-Start entrepreneur

What Home-Start Worldwide will not do

Home-Start is rooted in local communities and led by local people, with local volunteers helping local families. It is vital that the people who start down the Home-Start journey develop the skills and connections they need to grow their Home-Start scheme.

As a result, if you are interested in setting up a Home-Start in your country, we expect a lot from you. Your community needs to feel that Home-Start belongs to them, so we can’t do this work for you. Accordingly, Home-Start Worldwide will not:

• Provide funds

• Provide staff

• Send volunteers out from one country to set up Home-Start in another

But we will be beside you every step of the way as you do this work yourself.

A few examples

Personal Stories of Home-Start Development

By Leana, Burundi

Home-Start, Burundi

I first came into contact with Home-Start in 2014 in Norway where I live with my family. One evening I was reading my local newspaper as usual when I stumbled on a headline that read, “Would you like to be a volunteer?” I quickly read the page to find out more. Home-Start in my local community was recruiting volunteers; the article gave a brief introduction about Home-Start activities and their contact information.

Read more

By Lone Møller

Home-Start Denmark

I first met Home-Start on a study visit to Lewisham, London in 1989. I was there to learn about volunteer bureaus. Among the many papers I brought back to Denmark was Margaret Harrison’s presentation on Home-Start. I immediately liked the idea because I had been a single mum for about five years and knew exactly how a volunteer could have supported me.

Read more


Get started

Here are a few documents to get you acquainted with the Home-Start model of practice and provide you key information on how to start a Home-Start in your country. More detailed documents will be available once you start the process of development.

The Home-Start leaflet

Key information for new countries

The four stages of Home-Start development