Independent Visitor Volunteer
Hosted by: BMBC

The role of an Independent Visitor for children and young people in care was introduced as a statutory requirement for local authorities to provide in the Children Act 1989. The Act states that a local authority has to appoint an independent visitor for any child they are looking after, if they feel it would be in the child’s best interests.
A flexible, exciting and rewarding volunteer opportunity that fits around your current lifestyle and other commitments where you will make a positive difference to the life of a vulnerable young person, contributing to their development and confidence.

Establishing a long-term, trusting and supportive relationship with a child or young person (between 8 and 21 years old) who is looked after by the Local Authority. Helping to motivate them, develop their social skills, ensure they feel valued and encourage them to reach their full potential.

To meet regularly with the child or young person on a monthly basis offering friendship, support and advice. Engaging in visits, positive activities and outings that are led by the young person, dependent on their interests.

Matched with children and young people who have similar interests and hobbies.

Supporting children and young people to ensure that their voice is heard.

To work in partnership with the local authority while maintaining the independence necessary to this role, promoting the child’s or young person’s social and emotional development.

To complete all paperwork required and attend supervision meetings as directed by the scheme.

Willingness to undertake any training relevant to the role and a commitment to safeguard and protect children and young people at all time.

Contribute to the child or young person’s Looked After Child review if requested.

To have fun together!

Days required: Mon AM, Mon PM, Mon EVE, Tues AM, Tues PM, Tues EVE, Weds AM, Weds PM, Weds EVE, Thur AM, Thur PM, Thur EVE, Fri AM, Fri PM, Fri EVE, Sat AM, Sat PM, Sat EVE, Sun AM, Sun PM, Sun EVE

Recruitment process:

Once an expression of interest is received individuals will be invited to attend an informal information session to find out more about the opportunity and decide whether it is for them. As part of this process anyone still interested will be asked to complete a short application form and have an informal conversation with the Coordinator to progress things further. All volunteers will need to comply with Enhanced DBS checks and attend the mandatory training sessions (aprox 2/3 hours) due to the nature of working with vulnerable children and young people.

Skills and quaifications:

All of the following skills, abilities and qualities are essential for this volunteer position:

• Must be over 21 years of age
• Ability to work independently and use own initiative
• Ability to communicate effectively with children and young people
• Be a good listener
• Be reliable and punctual
• Ability to receive and accept support and guidance
• Able to provide a long-term commitment by ‘just being there’
• Commitment to promoting the safety and welfare of young people
• Have a understanding of the challenges for looked after children/young people
• An understanding of the issues children and young people face in society
• Ability to deal with sensitive, confidential and potentially distressing information
• Sensitivity to the needs and wishes of the child / young person
• Have a commitment to children’s rights and welfare
• An understanding on the impact of discrimination on individuals
• Be able to abide by confidentiality and professional boundaries within organisational policies and procedures
• Operate at all times within the Health and Safety, Safeguarding and Equal Opportunities policies of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough council
• Be willing to undergo an enhanced DBS check required for this role

On successful application, the volunteer will be supported to attend training and development opportunities to further their skills, knowledge and personal development.

Gender restrictions?: No
Type of activity: Advice work, Befriending and buddying, Youth Work