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As an Independent Visitor you will be there to visit and befriend the child in care. Children and young people in care have often experienced trauma and a lack of consistent adult relationships. The IV may be the one constant adult they have in their life.
The unique role of an IV enables children and young people to have at least one consistent, trusting relationship that is built over time. The IV will endeavor to become and remain a stable adult in the child’s life who doesn’t change when placements or social workers change and will at all times stay child focused.
Independent Visitors take an interest into the lives, hopes and concerns of a child or young person, and are there to listen and most of all have fun. Children and young people report that the role can make a huge difference to their lives; it improves confidence, they feel valued and they get to create happy memories with their IV.
We train and match each volunteer IV with a young person who has been referred to our service by their social worker. You will meet your young person once a month to encourage and support them. You might take the young person out for a walk in the park, help them to try out a new activity or simply be there to listen to them. Living in care can be very unsettling and some young people have very little or no contact at all with their birth families. It can make a real difference to a young person to know they have someone who is interested in them and who has chosen to be there just for them.
- Long term commitment is essential for this role (minimum 2 years) . Consistency and reliability are also very important!. IV candidates need to be willing to travel and expenses will be reimbursed.
- Full training will be provided. (training will be online for now due to the current pandemic, once the situation around Covid-19 allows it, training will be provided in a face-to-face setting).
- The training covers various topics such as safeguarding, understanding social care context for looked after young people, remit and boundaries of the role etc. An existing match (IV and Young Person) usually joins the training to share their experience.