Home-Start launched its first ever manifesto for Northern Ireland on 22 October 2014 and called for children to be prioritised

Shaped by the views of its 1,500 supported families and the issues faced by Home-Starts in 16 Northern Ireland communities, All Our Children is a call to action for all political parties to put children’s lives at the heart of policy.

We want all our children to grow up with:

  • safe places to live and play
  • support when their parents suffer from a mental illness
  • protection from hunger and poor nutrition

A survey of local Home-Starts revealed that more than 65% believed children in the families they work with are not supported by health and social services when their parents suffer from mental illness. 60% said they work with families whose children are not protected from food poverty and 75% support families where the children do not have safe places to live and play.

Home-Start works with vulnerable parents and children who are socially excluded, living in isolation or facing complex problems. The charity supported 3,000 children in Northern Ireland last year.

The manifesto was launched at Stormont in an event hosted by John McCallister MLA, Jim Wells MLA, Minister for Health Social Services and Public Safety, and Seán Rogers MLA, and also supported by Home-Start ambassador Lady Christine Eames.

Speaking at the event, John McCallister said, “Well-trained volunteers such as Home-Start’s compliment the early-years workforce. They make a significant contribution to the support families receive and help them to access services when they are most needed. If we are to address the issues of mental ill health, unsafe housing and local spaces, and poor nutrition in our communities, we need to support and expand cost effective family support services such as Home-Start’s.”

Download our manifesto for Northern Ireland, All our children.