Independent Visitor

An Independent Visitor befriends and supports a young person on a long-term basis

About the opportunity

Young people may have a range of professionals working with them. However, it is recognized that having someone impartial to talk to and offer support can make a difference to self esteem and engagement.

The Independent Visitor Volunteer Scheme is a statutory service for children who are ‘looked after’ by  the local authority. It is for those children who would benefit from having an independent adult in their life. This scheme is voluntary for the young person, which means that they can choose to have an Independent Visitor at any time from age 8 years  up until  they turn 18.

The scheme is provided by volunteers who want to befriend and support a young person on a long-term basis. The offer is made  in order to give young people the chance to spend time and build a relationship with an adult, who is not involved in their lives as a professional or carer and that can see them throughout their time in care.

The IV volunteer will form part of a package of interventions to help young people whilst in care, supported and supervised by a Hampshire County Council volunteer co-ordinator. Volunteers will be matched with children/young people and offer one to one support. This is likely to include meeting up  face to face and supporting them to engage in positive activities.  A crucial aspect will be the ability to build positive relationships which allow children and young people to feel listened to and supported and continue as long as needed.

Face to Face meetings are likely to take place in a variety of local settings to be agreed between the child/young person, volunteer and volunteer coordinator and may include schools, youth clubs, cafes etc.

Tasks and duties

  • Work with the volunteer coordinator to agree a match to a child/young person
  • Attend an initial meeting with the child/young person and support worker to agree the type and frequency of support to be offered and agree ongoing meetings and support
  • Discuss and agree information sharing with the child/young person and support worker
  • Meet with the child/young person and deliver the ongoing support agreed
  • Discuss and agree information sharing with the parent/carer.
  • Record and share information as agreed.

Training

Volunteers will receive full training consisting of 2 days of initial training that all volunteers are expected to attend and a further days training in relation to mentoring a child/young person. Volunteers will be supported during their time with Hampshire County Council by one of Hampshire’s locally based volunteer coordinators. This support can include peer supervisions, 1-2-1 supervisions or phone and email conversations.

Commitment

The amount of support each child/young person requires will vary depending upon their needs. For the Independent visitor role the volunteers will need to be able to commit to 1 visit a month (four hours a month) for a minimum of 12 months.

Volunteers may work with more than one young person at a time (depending upon the time they are able to offer).

All volunteering expenses including mileage and parking will be paid. The volunteer will also be able to access a £10 budget per session. This is to be used by the volunteer and the child/young person to enhance the visit.


Who we are looking for

Training and support will be provided therefore previous experience is not essential. We are seeking volunteers who feel able to:

  • communicate and ensure people, with varied levels of ability, understand information
  • build and maintain positive relationships with children/young people
  • listen and remain calm and impartial when communicating with children/young people
  • record information
  • respect differing views of individuals and work in a non judgmental way
  • respect confidentiality and the agreed information sharing process
  • have the confidence to report concerns to their Volunteer Coordinator
  • be able to describe their role and maintain professional boundaries

How to apply

Contact details

To find out more, please email your name and contact details to 
innovation.volunteers@hants.gov.uk

Volunteers will be asked to complete an application form to attend an interview

References required

Disclosure and barring service check