Our Awards & Standards

Quality in Befriending  Excellence Award logo

Recent Awards

  • Quality in Befriending Excellece, 2018
  • Inspiring Volunteer Awards - Jasmine Harrison, Val Clapton June 2018
  • Outstanding New Volunteer Award - Helen Boyle June 2018
  • Third Sector Award 2017
  • Midlothian Volunteer - Flora Michalopoulou  2017
  • Midlothian Volunteer of the Year - for Adele McGowan 2016
  • Quality in Befriending, Excellence - 2013 and 2015, and 2018
  • Midlothian Volunteer Team of the Year - 2015


Nicci, Helen, Pauline at Midlothian Volunteer Awards 2018



  QIB Award 2018

Quality Assurance

In 2013,2015 and again 2085 Befriending Networks awarded Home Link Family Support the highest rating of Excellence in Quality in Befriending (QiB).

At the time of writing we are one of only 8 UK wide organisations to have achieved Excellence and are the only organiation to have achieved it twice.

QiB assesses the core work of befriending projects and does not aim to assess the wider organisation. The nine practice areas covered by QiB are:

  • client referrals, assessments and waiting lists
  • volunteer recruitment, assessment and selection
  • volunteer training
  • reviews and ongoing support for clients and befrienders
  • risk management and safety project resources
  • monitoring & evaluation, and implementing change
  • standards
  • principles and policy

Home Link Family Support exists to provide professional, good quality and efficient support to families with young children who are under stress and experiencing difficulties. Home Link Family Support works towards the increased confidence, happiness and independence of the families referred for our help. We offer families a package of support that includes:

  • Careful assessment of their needs
  • Treatment that is fair and equal when using our services
  • Respecting the right to confidentiality
  • Taking into account any needs if the first language is not English
  • Expecting and having the right to be treated with respect
  • Matching with a trained Befriender who, as well as having regular feedback sessions with a Project Worker, provides a point of contact responding to whatever and whoever in the family needs support
  • Other therapeutic and group work opportunities
  • Skilful and resourceful identification of other appropriate services in the community and support and encouragement to try these
  • Frequent contact with the Home Link Family Support Project Worker including regular monthly reviews of their experience of the service
  • Help or support to speak out for themselves
  • When making home visits we will arrange this in advance, telephone if we are running late and leave a calling card if you are not in


Home Link Family Support operates under a code of practice with a range of written guidelines and policies including employment issues, volunteer management, child protection, health and safety, non-discriminatory practice, lone working and recruitment and selection.


Home Link Family Support keeps records of all contacts with the family and the volunteer. Personal details of all families and volunteers are kept on a database and in paper files. Each service is responsible for carrying out regular reviews with the family and volunteers to ensure their needs are being met. During reviews with both volunteers and families, an evaluation is completed and thereafter entered into the database allowing robust client self-assessment reports to be made readily available for funders.


Home Link Family Support is staffed by qualified and experienced practitioners who are given ongoing training and personal-development opportunities as the posts and child-related legislation require.

Partnership Working

Home Link Family Support maintains close links with many other voluntary and statutory agencies in Edinburgh and Midlothian and offers support to local colleges/universities by providing work placements for students wherever possible. Home Link Family Support is a member of Befriending Networks and has been awarded the quality standard Excellence in Befriending 2014.

How do I make a complaint?

Home Link Family Support exists to provide good quality personal and group support to families with young children who are under stress and experiencing difficulties. It affords opportunities for people to become involved in caring for other members of their community. Home Link Family Support is opposed to discrimination and strives to help alleviate its effects. We aim to promote and deliver our service in a non-discriminatory way.

If you have something to say, we want to hear it. Contact our manager Paula Swanston  0131 661 0890  paula.s@homelinkfamilysupport.org

Anyone who has contact with Home Link Family Support or its services and staff can offer feedback about their experience in the form of a compliment, comment or complaint.  Whatever the reason, we want to hear from you.

Perhaps you…

  • Have an idea about how we could improve our service
  • Are unhappy about decisions that have been made that affect you
  • Feel that you are not being treated properly or fairly

How to tell us what you think

You can reach us by phone or e-mail, or fill in the Complaints & Suggestions Form at the bottom of this page, yourself. You can nominate someone to do this for you or telephone Home Link Family Support and someone will complete the form on your behalf. 0131 661 0890  email click here

What happens next?

Stage 1: The Manager or delegated staff member will respond to you within five working days. We may suggest a meeting or may be able to discuss the matter with you over the telephone, depending on the nature of your feedback. We hope the majority of concerns will be resolved at this stage.

Stage 2: If you are not happy with the response, you can ask for your complaint or suggestion to be reviewed. The Manager or Chair of the Board of Home Link Family Support will acknowledge your request within five working days and will respond in full within a further 15 working days.

Stage 3: If you are not happy with the written response you have received, you can make an appeal to a review panel. The review of your complaint or suggestion will then be considered by a panel of three people, including the Chair of the Board, the Manager or another member of the Board, and one other member of the Board of Directors. Your request will be acknowledged within five working days and you will receive a full written response to your complaint review within a further 20 working days. The decision of the review panel is final. 

What if I am not happy with the outcome? 

If you are not happy with the way we have dealt with your complaint or suggestion, you can appeal to one of the following bodies:

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

4 Melville Street
Edinburgh EH3 7NS
Tel: 0870 011 5378
Text: 0790 049 4372
Fax: 0800 377 7331
Email: ask@spso.org.uk
Website: www.spso.org.uk

City of Edinburgh Council

Waverley Court                           
4 East Market Street
Edinburgh EH8 8BG
Tel: 0131 200 2000

Midlothian Council

Midlothian House
Buccleuch Street
Dalkeith EH22 1DN
Tel:  0131 270 7500

File Downloads: 
Complaints and Suggestions Form