Home-Start West Lothian accepts referrals from any local agency as long as the family have agreed to the referral and have at least one child under the age of five years. We also accept Self-Referrals. Occasionally, with very vulnerable families, it may be necessary to visit the family with the referring agency. When a family has been referred a member of the Home-Start team will arrange to visit the family and assess their needs and discuss the best way forward. The relationship is very much needs-led by the family and much emphasis is placed upon the special relationship between the volunteer and the family. A member of the staff team will match a Volunteer to the referred family as soon as is practicable. Occasionally a family might have to wait for an appropriate Volunteer to become available, but this is not common, and is managed as sensitively as possible. Once the family has been matched to a Volunteer the referring agency is informed and kept up to date on progress.