Volunteer Home-Visiting Service for Families


At present this service is only available in East Sussex and not Brighton & Hove.


“ M arranged for us to go to the group, and then came with us. I really needed some moral support to actually make it there. I struggle with new places, but A really loves it, it is worth making the effort”

Do you believe that every child should have the opportunity to reach their potential?

There are many issues that families struggle with, that directly or indirectly impact on their children’s learning and development, including parental feelings of isolation or depression and the challenges of caring for a baby or toddler.

The aim of this programme is to address the barriers that affect a families’ ability to develop learning and developmental opportunities for their preschool children. Parent-volunteers are recruited and attend an 8 week training course. Following training, they are matched with a family who they support to offer emotional and practical support in a range of situations. They can then support them to develop a learning friendly environment at home, for example, encouraging families to access books. In addition, they help parents to identify skills which the child would need by school such as toilet training or socialisation. Parents are supported to help their child develop these skills, for example the volunteer may go with the family to attend a parent and baby group.

The volunteers are recruited through advertising. Families can self-refer or can be referred by professionals (health visitors, social workers or other professionals). The support is open to families of children from birth to starting school age. Feedback is provided by the volunteers and the families we work with to ensure that we are constantly improving the service.


Measurable outcomes

  1. Children will experience an improved home environment. For example, ensuring availability of toys and books, implementing decluttering and cleaning routines and managing household budgets
  2. Children will benefit from their parents improved skills in parenting. For example accessing appropriate services, establishing routines and boundaries, reducing conflict
  3. Children’s learning and development skills will improve so that they are ready for nursery/school. For example, volunteers help parents to encourage and support their children to cope away from their parents, recognise their own name, use the toilet and understand simple hygiene.



Families can submit an Enquiry Form  so we can contact you to arrange an informal chat in the first instance.

We also accept submitted Enquiry Forms from professionals such as nursery staff, key workers, health visitors and social workers.  It is the third parties responsibility to gain permission to share the potential service-user’s contact details with us.

We no longer send out referral forms and instead ask referrers to fill out an enquiries form on-line for the following reasons:

  1. Referrers have told us they struggle to find the time to fill out detailed forms
  2. Forms go out of date
  3. We were receiving a lot of sensitive personal information from referrers about people/families that we sometimes did not end up supporting.  We now only request minimum information from referrers that is proportionate enough to be able to make contact  i.e. name, means of contact and also to make us aware of any safeguarding/health & safety issues if we were to home-visit.  We only ask for more personal information once we have assessed the enquiry and have confirmed we can offer support and the service-user would like it.

We can also be contacted at info@hses.org.uk  or 01273 612025.