Independent research Independent research published in 2013 after three years studying families showed that children whose parents have had the support of a Home-Start volunteer have a better start in life than those who don’t. The three year research project, by Jo Hermanns and others at the Universities of Amsterdam and Uttrecht*, also reveals that children are still benefiting up to three years after their Home-Start volunteer has stopped visiting. “This research gives robust academic credence to what we and many thousands of parents have intuitively known for the last 40 years – that the support of a volunteer parent while you are struggling to bring up a young family is good for you and good for your children. It gives them a better start in life.” Dr Elizabeth Young, director of research, evaluation and policy at Home-Start UK Researchers compared three groups of parents. In the first, each family had Home-Start support. In the two control groups there was no volunteer support. One of these control groups was a randomly selected community sample of parents and the other a group of parents with “elevated parenting stress and need for support”.The study showed parents in the Home-Start group had more positive changes in parental wellbeing, competence and behaviour: they parented more consistently and there was less rejection of their children. At the three year follow up, the Home-Start group showed more improvements than the control groups: more responsive parenting, and children showing less temper and anger issues and less anxiety (“child externalizing and internalising behaviour problems”). * Full title of the research: ’Long term changes in parenting and child behavior after the Home-Start family support program’ Jo M. A. Hermanns, Jessica J Ascher, Bonne J. H. Zijlstra, Peter J. Hoffenaar, Majaa Dekovic. University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Report extract and method of buying full research. More about our impact and about research into our work.