Home-Start Worldwide (HSW), a UK registered charity founded in 1999, is the coordinating structure of the Home-Start international network. It provides support to a network of Home–Start organisations in 22 countries on five continents, safeguarding the standards and the good name of Home-Start Worldwide, providing policy advice, facilitating the sharing of good practice and supporting the development of the Home-Start model in new countries.

22 countries

20 000 volunteers

40 000 families


All our members offer a free of charge service providing support and friendship to families with at least one pre-school child through regular home visiting. Trained volunteers, usually parents themselves from the local community, help parents to grow in confidence, strengthen their relationships with their children and widen their links with the community. Whatever the issues families face – isolation, finding it difficult to cope with the demands of parenthood and the stresses of life or facing financial hardship, marital problems, domestic violence, ill health and disabilities – Home-Start volunteers supervised by professional staff (often called coordinators) offer a non-judgmental hand of friendship ensuring children have the best possible start in life.

Increasingly, additional services are being offered by Home-Start schemes to meet the challenges of child rearing in difficult circumstances. These include income generation, reaching out to refugees, psychosocial counselling, nutritional support and prevention of child abuse and neglect.

With our international and lengthy experience, we have become a leading charity in family support and early years’ development, an area increasingly recognised for its crucial importance to a child’s future life-chances. Home-Start Worldwide is also now in demand for its expertise in training and supervising volunteers, its role in promoting volunteering and for the local community self-help ethos which lies at the heart of Home-Start work.


Home-Start schemes operate in many countries of the world and all follow common principles and adopt common values:

• We respect the rights of the child as expressed in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.

• We respect the principle of confidentiality, acknowledging that the information on each family is confidential, should be kept only within Home-Start or the organisation auspicing Home-Start and will only be disclosed with the consent of the parents, unless a child’s safety is at risk.

• We adhere to the principles of equality of opportunity, fairness and diversity in all spheres of our activity (personnel, volunteers, families).

• We show respect for the identity and rights of each person and family we serve and oppose any kind of discrimination based on ethnic origin, religion, culture, physical condition, gender identity, sexual orientation, family circumstances or any other factor.

• We show understanding and sympathy in our approach to families and we are non judgmental at all times. We believe that each person and each family has strengths, which should be highlighted and cultivated, and we value cultural differences.

• We are flexible and responsive to family needs and we value the importance of supporting families through friendship.

• We promote gender equality within the family and in society.


Home-Start Worldwide (HSW) wants to see a world where vulnerable families receive the help they need in order to give their children a safe and healthy start in life.


Home-Start Worldwide will help families and children worldwide by facilitating the growth, development and sustainability of the Home-Start volunteer-led family support service, through the support it offers to existing and new Home-Start associations or associations that wish to auspice the Home-Start Service.


Home-Start Worldwide members and Trustees around the world, through their work with families and advocacy at the local, national and international level are contributing to the following SDG targets:

• 2.2 – end child malnutrition by 2025

• 3.2 – end preventable infant mortality by 2030

• 3.5 – strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse

• 4.2 – universal access to quality early childhood development by 2030

• 5.2 – eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls

• 10.2 – empower the social, political and economic inclusion of all by 2030

• 16.1 – significantly reduce all forms of violence

• 16.2 – end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and violence against children

Home-Start Worldwide is a member of the Global Alliance to Prevent Violence Against Children and our approach seeks to promote non-violent parenting, a key focus of the VAC alliance. It is also a member of Eurochild, the network of organisations throughout Europe, striving for a society that respects the rights of children.


– – –

Home-Start Worldwide provides support to national associations around the world, and to new and developing schemes.

Home-Start schemes support families in 22 countries and every year, more committed, dynamic individuals or organisations approach us about setting up Home-Start in their country.


Margaret is Emeritus Professor of Community Paediatrics at King’s College, London. Until 2004, she was a Clinical and Academic Social and Developmental Paediatrician working within the UK National Health Service. Her research and much of her teaching and clinical work (over 35 years) focused on child protection and children living in difficult circumstances. She has advised both the Department of Health and the Department of Education within England and has provided advice to several overseas governments on the development and implementation of child protection systems. She is a Patron of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England.

Margaret is a founder member and past President of ISPCAN. She has remained active in the organisation and was awarded the ISPCAN Distinguished Career Award in 2010. Margaret is proactively involved internationally with a wide network of individuals and organisations concerned with the welfare of children and families. She has participated in Child Protection activities in over 45 countries. This includes long term involvement with projects in East Africa, the Balkans, countries of the former Soviet Union and the Middle East. She has undertaken consultancy work for WHO, UNICEF, Save the Children, MAP (Medical Aid to Palestinians) and the Oak Foundation.

Margaret has been a Trustee of Home-Start Worldwide since 2011 and took on the role of Chair in March 2018.


Nick is a UK qualified Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser with over 20 years of accounting and financial experience. He started his career working for professional services companies in the areas of audit and tax and has subsequently worked for multi-national organisations in financial and managerial roles covering group consolidation, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, cash management, technical accounting and financial statement preparation as well as strategic and operational tax matters. During his working life Nick has spent time living and working in Switzerland, France and the UK.


Betty (Alzbeta) is the Director of Home-Start in the Czech Republic. She studied Social Policy and Social Work at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University in Prague and obtained her Master’s degree. During her studies, she worked with people with physical and mental disabilities, drug addicts and alcoholics. She worked temporarily in penitentiary care, in a high security prison, as a social worker and assistant therapist.
Since 2000, she has been actively working at HoSt Home-Start Czech Republic. She has worked as a director, volunteer, volunteer coordinator, field social worker, and psychotherapist. She is an expert guarantor of several projects focusing on innovative methods of working with vulnerable families.

Betty specialises in social legal protection of children and works with adult victims who have suffered from child abuse and other abuses as well as domestic violence.

Betty works as a psychotherapist – the focus of psychotherapeutic training is an analytic-dynamic direction focused on existential themes (8 years training – self-experience and theory).

She works actively in several advisory groups at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in the Czech Republic in the areas of social and legal protection of children in practice; parental skills and competencies; removal of children from the family and psychological deprivation.

From 2009 to 2017 Betty actively supported the set-up, development and retention of Home-Start Tanzania. She helped with their fundraising and methodical leadership of volunteer work.


Kirpal has over 25 years’ experience of working for corporates in the UK covering telecoms, banking and technology before switching to the third sector in 2004 to join Home-Start.

Since 2006 Kirpal has been leading a local Home-Start in the UK as CEO developing a holistic package of family interventions and testing new models of support. She is trained in delivering several parenting programmes and has a keen interest in nurturing health and wellbeing initiatives for low income families.

Kirpal served as a trustee of a local infrastructure charity and governor of a primary school and is currently joint chair of a consortium of local organisations working to transform a regeneration area in London. She holds a BA in Business and IT and an MBA.


Oliver left the Central Office of Information (centre of global communications best practice for public sector) in November 2010 to set up his own communications agency, Hickson Communications, specialising in public sector, charity, communications strategy and behaviour change best practice.

Oliver has worked as a consultant and trainer for Mediatrust since 2012, working on projects such as strategic communications training for BIG Lottery Fund, and a strategic audit for Euradia, the European Diabetes research consortium. Since May 2018 Oliver has undertaken over 35 communications audits on behalf of Comic Relief, Big Local and John Lyon’s Trust.

The work for Comic Relief, Big Local and John Lyon’s Trust is with a range of beneficiaries, such as youth clubs, Refugee Centres and family support centres. Much of the work is around setting the strategic vision, messaging and objectives of the organisations. Life skills development and mental health support are essential parts of their work.

Oliver is a specialist in strategic development and fund-raising for the charitable sector.


For most of his career Ton worked for the City of Rotterdam in various positions. He was head of the department for Youth Affairs which was responsible for subsidizing most of the welfare organisations in Rotterdam. Ton also fulfilled the role of interim-manager, working on several large projects. He was Clerk of the Boroughs for Feijenoord and Ijsselmonde in Rotterdam.

Since his retirement, Ton is a consultant with SESAM Academy. SESAM Academy’s role is to support and advise social organizations in the fields of policy, finance, marketing, communication and working with volunteers. The Academy consultants are volunteers themselves, people who are retired and use their work experience to improve the quality of social organizations.

During his working career Ton has provided support and guidance to organizations for migrants, theatre management and Home-Start.


Charan, director for The Danish Committee for Health Education (DCHE) has an MSc in Economics and more than 18 years of experience within the public health area in the field of management, organisational development, business development, communication and implementation of local, regional, national and international projects.

Charan has vast experience in holding the “tension” between government, political and private / nonprofit sectors. He’s also had long and valuable experience with organisations and people, encouraging them to work together and do their best.

Charan says, “As a manager I emphasise commitment, efficiency and integrity. It is important for me to create results, to ensure high employee satisfaction as well as having a wide network both at an official and political level.”


Joan van Niekerk completed a Master’s degree in Medical Science (Medical and Psychiatric Social Work) at the University of Durban Westville in 1983. She has worked in the field of child protection for 28 years and has actively promoted the prevention of child rights violations and abuse, as well as appropriate responses to abused children and their families.

Joan has considerable experience in working with children in conflict with the law, particularly those who have committed offences against other children. Joan spent 24 years at Childline, initially as Director of Childline KwaZulu-Natal and then as National Co-ordinator of Childline South Africa. She chaired the South African Law Reform Commission Project Committee on Sexual Offences, and participated in consultations that resulted in the initial drafts of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 and the Child Justice Act 75 of 2008. She served as a member of the Professional Board for Social Work from 2000 to 2005 and is the Past President and currently a council member of the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.


Sheena was appointed a Trustee in June 2014. She had a long career in International banking, including 15 years with Citibank in Africa, where she was Country Head Senegal, and Mauritius, and worked extensively in the Ivory Coast and neighbouring countries on bank and public sector relationships. This often involved development banks, NGOs and bilateral donors in their operations in the field, and their government and multilateral stakeholders. She has also worked for Citi, Merrill Lynch and Lloyds Bank in offshore private banking, supporting foundations, trusts and family businesses globally. She was an EC ‘stagiaire’ post-graduation, and an UNECOSOC consultant on investment regulation. Sheena has a Wharton MBA and completed the Financial Times NED Diploma in April 2015. She is a member of The Institute of Fundraising and the Royal African Society.


Yukie has over 20 years’ experience in working for corporates in tourism, furniture and interior design industries. In 1996, she joined ‘Junior Chamber International,’ an NGO of young social entrepreneurs and devoted herself to community and human development projects as a volunteer. As one of the JCI certified trainers, she provided more than 100 training opportunities all over Japan and in the Asian countries.

After switching to the third sector for family and children in 2005, she encountered Home-Start and was convinced that Home-Start could change unhelpful patterns within families and create a better future by empowering both families and communities.

Yukie has been leading Home-Start Japan as their National Director Since 2007 together with 6 charter members. They support 100 local schemes and coordinate the network so that the schemes are all able to learn from one another.

As the director of the host country and together with members of HSW, Yukie organized the ‘HSW Global Conference 2017’ in Tokyo.

Contact us

Home-Start Worldwide is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales