Independent Visiting Service

All children in care have the right to an Independent Visitor.

An Independent Visitor (IV) is an adult volunteer who befriends and develops a long-term friendship with a care experienced young person. They are specially selected and trained so that they are safe and appropriate for you.

They make a commitment for two years minimum and will visit you every couple weeks and take you on outings. You could go to the cinema, out for food, bowling or even get help with your studies from your volunteer. They are a consistent person in your life.

Making sure you’re perfectly matched with your Independent Visitor

One of our Independent Visiting co-ordinators will come and talk to you to find out about your interests and the sort of IV that you would like.

How often would you see your Independent Visitor?

Usually every couple of weeks, but it would be up to you and them to agree on a regular schedule.

What happens after you are matched with your Independent Visitor

You go out and have fun together! You can stay matched until you are 21, (or older if you have disabilities or need extra support as an adult) and then we hope you will stay friends after that.

You don't pay for activities...

The Independent Visitor deals with this and you have the choice of planning your time out if you want to.

What happens if you and your Independent Visitor don’t get on?

It’s completely up to you if you want to carry on seeing them or not. You can talk to the Independent Visiting service and get a different volunteer if that would be better for you.

Support we can offer you

Our Independent Visiting co-ordinators will regularly visit to talk to you and make sure you're happy. You can always get in touch with them when you want, or talk to your foster carer or social worker if you have any worries.

How to get an Independent Visitor

If you are a child or young person in care and would like an Independent Visitor, just ask your social worker or Independent Reviewing Officer.

If you’d like to speak with us directly, our Independent Visiting co-ordinators work Monday to Friday. If we can’t answer your call or email straight away, we will get back to you in 2 working days.

History of Independent Visitors

The service is a statutory requirement of the Children Act 1989, which states that children are eligible for an Independent Visitor if they have little or inadequate contact with their birth parents.

The National Independent Visiting Network recently produced a campaign video, ‘Independent Visitors – Our Legal Right’, as part of our ongoing Right Friend Campaign.  This video was produced by a group of eighteen care-experienced young people who have an Independent Visitor and wish to raise awareness of this unique relationship.   These young people worked alongside cartoonist James Parsons, from Comic Club and Silverbox Films, to showcase their creative talent and produce a compelling campaign film that draws on their own experience of having an Independent Visitor.