Home-Start Program

Practical support for families

Home-Start is a voluntary home visiting service that offers practical support and mentoring to families with children under the age of five.

Trained volunteers are linked to families on a one-to-one basis to provide support. All Home-Start volunteers offer their time on a voluntary basis; most are parents or grandparents themselves. They assist by giving low key support and fostering community connection on a short or long term basis.

Home-Start is an evidence-based program licenced internationally.

Who can use Home-Start?

Any family with a child under the age of five who may be experiencing difficulties; most commonly parents who are exhausted and lonely. They may be single mums or dads, or parents with new babies and toddlers.

How do families contact Home-Start?


Families themselves can ask Home-Start for help only in Bendigo. Workers in various agencies may introduce families seeking help to Home-Start. Referrals may come from Maternal & Child Health nurses, schools, churches, doctors or neighbourhood centres.

If you are live in Bendigo contact HomeStart Bendigo – 03 5441 1047 during business hours Monday to Friday 9.00am-5.00pm.

Email homestart@baptcare.org.au.


If you live in Melbourne in the Brimbank-Melton local government area, families can be referred by a Baptcare worker who can
make the referral.

Contact HomeStart Sunshine – 03 9373 3800 during business hours Monday to Friday 9.00am-5.00pm

Email homestartprogram@baptcare.org.au.

How will your Home-Start volunteer support you?

Trained volunteers offer support that is tailored to suit your needs including:

  • Friendship
  • Mentoring and practical support
  • Help with the children
  • Help with attending appointments
  • Reading to the children
  • Having a chat
  • Help with the shopping
  • Visit once a week for a minimum of two hours
  • Play with your children

The program also provides a supported weekly playgroup. The get involved contact the program coordinator.

What happens when a family is referred?

  1. The Home-Start coordinator makes an initial visit to the family to assess their needs and to discuss the Home-Start Program.
  2. If Home-Start can be of assistance, the coordinator will introduce a volunteer to the family. It is up to the volunteer, family and the coordinator to determine when the visits happen and how long they continue.
  3. The coordinator maintains close links with both the family and volunteer to ensure the arrangements are working out.

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Baptcare wants to help you to know about your rights. You have the right to tell us what you think about the services you are receiving from Baptcare. We want to hear about your experience with Baptcare, good or bad, so we can provide you the best support possible. If you have ideas on how we can improve, let us know!

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