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Home-Start Netherlands logo.

Eva Scholte
(National Organiser for Schemes)
Tel: +31 (0) 20 523 1100
Fax: +31 (0) 20 622 7367
address: Sarphatistaat 4-6, 1017 WS, Amsterdam


Not only in England, but also in the Netherlands there was a great need for a programme which focused on parent's needs and questions. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Cultural Affairs paid a visit to the Home-Start project in England in 1991. That was such a successful visit that the Ministry decided to introduce Home-Start on an experimental basis in the Netherlands.

Three pilot projects were initiated in Limburg in 1993 with the help of the Netherlands Institute for Care and Welfare and Symbiose. The first trials showed that there was a big need for this type of family support. The Home-Start methodology was developed further in 1996 and 1997.

The Humanitas organisation then initiated another three pilot projects and in 1996 the results of the experiments proved to be so positive that the programme was then implemented on a national level. All types of organisations, institutions and local, regional and provincial governments are entering into partnerships for funding and setting up Home-Start projects. Partnerships have even been set up at the national level for this purpose.

Home-Start in the Netherlands is aiming for a large-scale integration into the local preventive youth programme in order to reach its target group and to realise its goals. The implementation is in the hands of easily accessible neighbourhood or district organisations. These are health and welfare or volunteer organisations and institutions.

Home-Start’s national support centre, which is situated by the Vereniging Humanitas, offers education and staff training, a quality programme, PR and information to Home-Start coordinators and support staff.

Between 1997 and 2013 The University of Amsterdam did different studies on the effectiveness of Home-Start. With the results of these studies they developed the following intervention theory about Home-Start:

  1. the wellbeing of the mother improves
  2. maternal sense of competence improves
  3. positive changes in parenting behaviour
  4. positive changes in child behaviour

The articles of the different studies can be found on our national website:

The latest study* describes short-term and long term changes in families who participated in Home-Start. The results showed more positive changes in parental wellbeing, competence and behaviour (more consistent behaviour and less rejection) during the intervention period in the Home-Start group than in two other groups. At the three year follow up, the Home-Start group showed, compared to the other groups, more improvements in parenting (more responsiveness), but also diminished child externalising and internalising behaviour problems (less oppositional defiant behaviour, affective problems and anxiety problems).

* Hermanns, J.M.A., Asscher, J.J., Zijlstra, B.J.N., Hoffenaar, P.J. & Dekovic, M. (2013).  Long-term changes in parenting and child behaviour after the Home-Start family support program.

Children and Youth Services Review, 35, 678-684


Local Home-Start projects are subsidised in the Netherlands by local and provincial government.

Plans for the future

We are developing a new quality program in the Netherlands. Headed by an independent chairman, different projects visit each other to evaluate quality issues using a checklist.

What people say about us

"Luckily all these social workers know what is going on with my children, but that doesn’t always help me. What does help me is my volunteer, as her purpose is only to help me and only if I want help. She also has a family, but, if she is here, she has all the time in the world. She is here to help me."A mother

"I have never felt so welcome as a volunteer."A volunteer tells her coordinator

Updated 30th March 2015

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