Home-Start logo

Home-Start is a voluntary home-visiting program

Home-start supports families (with at least one child under five years) in the Newcastle and East Lake Macquarie areas.

Our Program Coordinator links trained volunteers with a family.

Volunteers work on a one-to-one basis and provide practical support and friendship to a family through regular home visits.

Volunteers are selected for their parenting experience, caring attitudes and ability to relate to others.

Each year new volunteers are recruited to undertake our Home-Start volunteer training course. 

To join our highly regarded program….become a Volunteer!

Home-Start has 30 active volunteer visitors and their ages range from 26 to 75. Interested?

Contact: Philippa on 0422 292 318 or email

Home-Start began in Australia in 1989 under the auspices of the Family Action Centre at The University of Newcastle. Since that time, Home-Start has;

  • trained over 450 volunteers
  • worked with 1700 families
  • worked with 3400 children.

We're linked to both Home-Start Australia  and Home-Start International.

The Home-Start program works on the basis that parents play the key role in giving their children a good start in life and in helping them achieve their full potential. The program offers parents some extra support, which may then help create better outcomes for the whole family.

Home-Start operates throughout the world – in Australia, Canada, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Kenya, The Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Home-Start is funded by NSW Government, Human Services, Community Services, via Families NSW Strengthening Communities Strategy.


"Highly Commended"  award in 1999 for National Child Abuse Prevention for our outstanding commitment and achievement in promoting the wellbeing of children and the prevention of child abuse.

Merit Award from the National Institute of Criminology for the prevention of violence against women.

 "Outstanding Contribution to the Hunter Community" was awarded in 2004 to volunteer Ms Sharon Marsh for her dedication to Home-Start.

Who can use Home-Start?

Any family experiencing difficulties (with at least one child under five years) living in Newcastle or East Lake Macquarie areas.

Each family will have a different situation, but some examples include;

  • parents with new babies
  • single parents
  • families where one partner is working long hours so unable to provide much support
  • people who have recently moved into the area and have little or no support networks
  • a family with a child with special needs

How do families contact Home-Start?

Families are referred by workers in health services - e.g. GP, John Hunter Hospital, Child and Family Health, First Steps parenting and social workers.

Phone Home-Start on 4921 6842 or 4921 5758

What happens when a family is referred?

Our Home-Start Coordinator makes an initial visit to assess support requirements and discuss the Home-Start program & principles.  If Home-Start can assist, the Coordinator will introduce a trained volunteer to the family. The volunteer and family determine when visits will occur. The Coordinator maintains close links with both the family and volunteer to ensure that all support offered is meeting the family's needs.

Philippa Talbot  Home-Start Co-ordinator
T: 02 4921 6842

Mel Burgess  Triple P Coordinator
T: 02 4921 7323

Lesley Asher  Administration Co-ordinator
T: 02 4921 5758
F: 02 4921 5724