Independent Visitor

Independent Visitors (IVs) provide a long-term supportive relationship to children and young people living in foster or residential care who have asked their social worker to arrange for an IV to help them.  

Local authorities have a duty to provide an IV in these cases. IVs can be the most consistent person in the lives of some children and young people in care and bring tremendous benefits to them.  IVs are volunteers who befriend young people, get to know them, advise them and support them during their time in care and sometimes through the process of leaving care.


To visit, advise and befriend a child or young person in residential care or a foster home enabling them to have contact with someone independent of the social services department.

Key activities:  Monthly outings or activities at mutually convenient times – a walk, cinema, cycling, a meal, a museum, safe community activities. Providing an opportunity for meaningful interaction between the young person and their volunteer; someone who can be a great role model, safe to talk to and build a friendship with.   


Attitude/skills/knowledge required:  Volunteers aged 18 upwards, need no formal qualifications, but need to be genuine, trustworthy and active. Be reliable and committed to the service long term, have an interest in the welfare of children and young people with good listening and communication skills. 

Barnardo’s also asks that all volunteers show:

  • Commitment to Barnardo’s Basis and Values
  • Commitment to Barnardo’s Equality and Diversity Policy

IV matches can last for a number of years, and therefore the role can be a long–term and significant on-going commitment.

Training, support or other benefits available:  Barnardo's provides all volunteers with training relevant to their role, including training in Safeguarding, Professional Boundaries, Equality & Diversity, Confidentiality, GDPR and Health & Safety.

This volunteering role can provide volunteers with an opportunity to gain experience in supporting young people, working with a national charity, interacting professionally with staff, families and carers.  Support will be provided through on-going supervision with the IV Coordinator


  • Invitation to training (once all above processes are completed successfully).

  • Training consists of:

  • 2 days classroom group work

  • Completion of additional (short) training modules Home based learning.


  • Will require a criminal record check (DBS)
    Enhanced DBS is required.
  • Not suitable for under 18's

When can I volunteer?

Start Date: 06/08/2019

End Date: 31/01/2020

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning No No No No No Yes Yes
Afternoon No No No No No Yes Yes
Evening Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Availability Details

Independent Visitors offer a long-term commitment to meet a young person for a few hours each month in order to build a consistent and supportive relationship. Meetings can be in the evenings or at weekends, depending on the availability of the IV and the needs of the young person.

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