We are looking for motivated and enthusiastic volunteers with a passion to make a difference to the lives of children and young people who are looked after. We are currently looking for individuals to fulfil two important roles, supporting children and young people:
Independent Visitors provide long-term support to Looked After Children or Young People allowing them to build a trusted relationship with an adult outside of the care system. You could help a child or young person build confidence and self-esteem by engaging them in activities in the community.
Independent Advocates work one to one with children and young people to help resolve any issues they may be experiencing. The aim of an Independent Advocate is to empower a child or young person, inform them of their rights and support them to have their say.
You can find the volunteer form at the bottom of this page, as well as details on where to send this to.
The role of the Independent Visitor includes visiting, advising and befriending the child or young person on a regular basis over a period, usually for a few hours once a month. Independent visitors offer advice and guidance and provide a listening ear when its needed.
By helping young people to take part in activities, hobbies and day trips, Independent Visitors help them to develop meaningful, long-term relationships with adults whilst trying new things and having fun!
The role of an Independent Advocate is to:
- Support children and young people to speak out/speak up for themselves
- Ensure that the young person’s voice is heard and listened to
- Help children and young people to understand decisions that have been made about their care
- Assist children and young people to understand their rights and the services that are available to them
Independent Visitors provide opportunities for children and young people to develop meaningful, long term relationships with adults. Commitment and stability are very important for our children and young people; therefore, we would ask that you commit to visiting regularly, usually once a month for a minimum of two years.
Independent Advocates support young people around a specific issue and hours will depend on what assistance is required. Advocacy involvement can range from a few hours per week for a couple of weeks to less frequent, longer term support. Independent Advocates will agree with the young person how much support they can give and will be contacted and asked for their availability before any voluntary work is undertaken.
Independent Advocates will usually support young people at appointments/meetings during office hours, therefore we particularly welcome interest from volunteers who are available midweek (any days Mon-Fri).
You do not need any qualifications to volunteer however you must be be honest, reliable and young person focussed. Experience of supporting children and young people, either in a family environment or other settings is preferable but not essential.
Volunteer Independent Advocates are often involved in supporting young people to attend meetings, write letters and make phone calls. The ability to organise work along with good verbal and written communication skills are helpful in this role.
As a volunteer you must be willing to attend initial training and receive on-going support and guidance to help with your role.
As part of our commitment to safeguarding all volunteers will be required to undertake an Enhanced DBS disclosure. The cost of this is covered by the service.
Making a positive difference to the life of a vulnerable child or young person is an amazing feeling; Independent Visitors and advocates are hugely valued by the young people as they are often the only people involved in their lives that are not paid to be there. As well as feeling good about helping others, volunteering can open new opportunities for employment and is a good way to meet other volunteers, have new experiences and gain new skills. In return you will receive on-going support, opportunities for further training and expenses to cover activities and travel.
For more information on volunteering with our service contact the Independent Visiting and Advocacy Co-Ordinator:
Tel: 0151 934 4167
|Volunteer as an Independent Visitor||(pdf 174KB)|