Volunteer Family Connect: The development of a best practice model of volunteer home visiting to support vulnerable families

Project Short Title
Volunteer Family Connect

Project Status

Rebekah Grace (at UNSW for the duration of this project, now at Macquarie University), Lynn Kemp (at UNSW for the duration of this project, now at Western Sydney University, Jaimie Tredoux (UNSW)

Project Rationale

Despite a long history of volunteer home visiting services as part of the service landscape available to families, there has been very little examination of the program elements and identification of those critical to facilitating optimal outcomes for parents and children.  There are also significant differences in the way programs like this are delivered from one organisation to the next. This project  will review current practices, determine best practices, and document those practices in a manual that can be used to guide the delivery of volunteer home visiting programs in the partner organisations and more broadly.

Project Aim/s

The overarching aim of this project is to develop a best practice model of volunteer home visiting and to produce a draft program manual.

Project Design and Method

The following methods will be employed to meet the objectives of this project:

  • Establishment of project steering committee
  • Comprehensive review of the literature
  • Review and comparison of policy documents and  program materials relevant to the volunteer home visiting program across the three partner organisations

Extensive consultation with staff from across all levels of the partner organisations (from CEO’s through to program volunteers) about program practices and guiding principles. This consultation will involve a mix of individual interviews, workshop activities and focus groups.

Any Publications

Byrnes, F., Grace, R., Kemp, L & Tredoux, J. (accepted 9 June 2015). Structured social relationships: A review of volunteer home visiting programs for parents of young children. Australian Health Review.