Do you want to refer a family?

Do you want to refer a family?

You can refer families to our services. Or you can refer yourself

  • Referrals from NHS and other professionals should be made using the form in the grey box at the base of this page.   For more information about making a referral contact                 Michele Milligan - 0131 661 0890 or email
  • To refer yourself you can just call us 0131 661 0890 or email  or ask your Health Visitor or any body else who supports you.

Do you want to refer yourself?  click here

Do you want to make a referral for a family you work with?  Please use the grey box at the bottom of this page

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Referrals for Early Years Home Visiting Service Pilot

A new joint referral system is being piloted from 1 January 2018 between Home Link and Home Start.

Home Link Family Support, Home-Start Edinburgh West & South West and Home-Start Leith & North East Edinburgh are separate charities that support families in similar ways.

We have agreed to provide a shared referral pathway, The aim of the partnership is that families who are referred will be assessed and offered support that meets their needs as soon as possible. This will prevent duplication of referrals and streamline the referral process.  Enabling us to allocate the right resource from the range that we collectively offer, at the right time.

NHS professionals wishing to refer families, please use the form in the grey boxes at the base of this page and return it by our NHS secure email:

Referral form is in the grey box at the bottom of this page


Referral Criteria

for Antenatal Service, Young Parents Support and Systemic Family Counselling Services

Due to the possible complexity of support needs that family may have, we ask that you make direct contact with our practitioners for these  services, allowing you to have an informal discussion about the family needs, in confidence, before making a referral.


Referral Criteria

for Family Support Service / Early Years Home Visiting

  •     Families with at least one child under five or expecting a baby
  •     Live in Edinburgh or Midlothian
  •     Willing and able to engage in the service
  •     Experiencing some form of difficulty

Support will consist of:

  • Home visits from a volunteer for two hours on a weekly basis for up to one year
  • Support to access activities in the community, such as parent & toddler groups, baby massage, taking the children out to the park
  • Support at home to play with the children, help to  get into routines
  • Someone to talk to and enjoy some company

How we will do it

When we receive your referral a worker from Home Link or Home Start will contact you to let you know if the family can be matched immediately and if not, how long they may have to wait.

A Coordinator will then contact the family to arrange an assessment visit at home. When a suitable volunteer is available, the Coordinator will introduce them to the family. We match our families carefully to ensure everyone will have a good experience.

Getting it right for every child

There is an expectation that in making a referral there is a willingness to work jointly with Home Link Family Support, Home Start and other relevant agencies at appropriate stages to support the delivery of the Child’s Plan where relevant. More info on GIRFEC

Length of support and monitoring

The Befriender can visit the family for up to one year. Throughout the period of support there will be regular reviews with both the family and the volunteer carried out by the Cooordinator. The befriending relationship will be monitored to reflect on the goals set and the progress made. There will be contact either face-to-face or by phone at least every four weeks.

The Coordinator will also be the link between the volunteer and other professionals involved with the family, and can attend Core Groups and Case Conferences where necessary

Feeling valued

We are mindful that our volunteers offer their time and support without payment and we value this contribution highly. To protect the interests of our volunteers, we ask that there is a reasonable assurance that the families referred are willing and able to engage with the service. While non-engagement is frustrating for paid workers, it is extremely discouraging for volunteers and, if persistent, can result in the volunteer withdrawing.

Download our referral form from the boxes below, (it may be slow to download) and send it