I would say that it is interesting, rewarding work. As with any work with young people, no two visits are ever the same, so it’s certainly never boring!
Personally hearing good news and that a young person I was visiting was feeling happy today has given me a big buzz. It’s just so lovely to know that she wanted to talk to me.
Sarah - Independent visitor volunteer
Volunteer as an independent visitor and help guide, listen to and befriend a young person in care.
- What is an independent visitor?
Independent visitors are volunteers who befriend and visit children and young people in care who have little or no contact with their parents. Being an Independent Visitor can be both challenging and rewarding and is very much valued by children and young people. The Importance of the role of the independent visitors and guidelines on their appointment is covered by Children Act 1989.
The independence of the visitors is extremely important and for this reason a person who works for Doncaster Children's Services Trust or who is a local councillor cannot become a volunteer. This rule also applies to the partners or spouses of councillors and Trust staff.
- What does an independent visitor do?
An independent visitor is someone who supports young people in care by:
- Offering advice and support.
- Sharing their interests and activities.
- Being a good listener.
- Encouraging them to reach their full potential.
- Providing long term commitment by 'just being there'.
- Giving help during difficult times.
- Helping them to make their voice heard.
- Assisting in the development of social skills.
- Can I volunteer?
To become an Independent visitors you:
- Must be over 18 years of age.
- Do not need any formal qualifications or experience.
- Need to be able to relate well to children and have a genuine interest in the welfare of children and young people.
- Must be reliable and committed to visiting the child regularly over a long period.
- Come from different backgrounds and age groups.
- Must be able to develop a trusting relationship which will require patience and understanding and can often be a slow process.
- Will be required to share any child protection concerns that arise which are beyond the realms of confidentiality.
Become a volunteer today
Applications are welcome at any time and if you would like to apply, or to discuss any aspect of becoming an independent visitor. All volunteers will need to have a DBS check.