Service Launch 29 Nov 2016

Briefing Paper

Read our press release here

Early Years Home-Visiting Support

Home Link Family Support is a registered charity established in 1986. Based in Edinburgh, it operates throughout the city of Edinburgh and Midlothian, offering a range of home-visiting support services focusing on systemic family counselling, early years family support, young parents’ support, ante- and post-natal support: all using an early intervention framework.


Home Link Family Support’s five-year Lottery-funded project will provide comprehensive support to families with young children in Edinburgh. The programme will offer a range of services to encourage positive emotional development of children, healthy parent-child relationships, and to address issues that may impact negatively on the families.


We aim to support parents to fully engage with the positive emotional development of their children; to help nurture healthy parent-child relationships; and to encourage parents to fully understand and participate in their child’s early years’ learning. Through early intervention we seek to support families to bring up their children so that they can become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.


We will work in partnership with Home-Start Leith & North East Edinburgh and Home-Start  Edinburgh West & South West to provide Early Years  Home-Visiting Support across the whole of the city.


Home Link Family Support will prioritise referrals from Muirhouse, Pilton, City Centre, South West and South East localities.


We will deliver groups in South East and South West Edinburgh.


The services provided:


  1. Ante- and post-natal support to families with children who are at risk of being accommodated or placed on the Child Protection Register. A dedicated service for pregnant mothers and fathers identified by Health/Social Work professionals as requiring support to help prepare them for the challenges of parenthood.
  2. Early learning for pre-school age children, supporting families that are affected by, or at risk from, a range of negative issues, and providing parents with the skills and confidence to offer their children the best start in life. Services include trained volunteers making weekly home visits to support parent-child activities such as reading and play.
  3. Family Group Work for pre-school children enabling them and their parents to participate in taster sessions of PEEP (Parents as Early Education Practitioners), Play@home, Bookbug, whilst using the focus of ‘stay and play’ to help reach a wider, isolated parenting peer group. This will be delivered with local partner organisations in the most deprived areas of South Edinburgh.
  4. The One Stop Shop:  Home Link Family Support will lead on providing a multi-agency Early Years Advisory Service to all parents living in the south of Edinburgh with children under 5 years of age. The One Stop Shop is a service offering parents:
  • An assessment of need including benefits check  
  • Increase in uptake of Healthy Start vouchers
  • Support with accessing welfare services/provision
  • Access to literacy/numeracy support and learning opportunities
  • Practical help with bringing up children in their early years.

Weekly sessions will enable parents to drop in, access stay and play sessions, enquire about local resources. We are working in partnership with local Community Centres to create an Early Years Hub:  the first one has started in Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre in Moredun.


5. Steering Group: this will be set up to oversee the project. Members will consist of manager, staff, members of the local community, Board member, referral partners and families who are interested in being part of the group. The remit is to provide direction and advice on integrating the service in the new geographical areas of service delivery. The group will meet quarterly in year 1 and then 6- monthly throughout the life-time of the funding.


Over 5 years we will significantly benefit:

  • 615 children by giving them a better start in life – through home visiting and group work
  • 465 families by improving family cohesion through the parents’ better understanding of the needs of their children and their abilities to be good parents, by offering home visiting and group work
  • 150 pregnant women and 150 unborn babies who will be supported so that the mothers are healthier during their pregnancy and prepared for the birth and the first 12 months
  • 250 parents who will be supported by the One Stop Shop
  • 150 new volunteers  who will gain new skills which could be of assistance in career progression

Watch our video explaining what we do click here