A scheme which links independent adult volunteers with young people in care is looking for more people to join its committed team.
An Independent Visitor (IV) offers regular long-term support and friendship to a young person living in foster or residential care. Every local authority has a duty to provide this service for its young people. When Ofsted inspected Wiltshire Council’s Children’s Services last summer it singled out the Independent Visitor Scheme for praise saying: “Good use of independent visitors gives children a valuable support to have their views heard and their rights upheld.”
A recent report published by Barnardos and the National Independent Visitor’s Network showed that an average of only 17 young people per local council are linked up with an Independent Visitor. However, in Wiltshire the scheme is very popular and 56 young people are already linked up with visitors. Organisers now want to boost the scheme even more in the county.
Cllr Pauline Church, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Children. Education and Skills said: “This scheme provides our young people in care with a trusted independent adult who can make a positive difference in their lives.
“We are grateful to those who already give their time and we’d like to encourage more volunteers to come forward and be part of this extremely valuable scheme.”
Christine, Andy and Nicola are all volunteers and explain what the role is all about:
Christine: “Having fun is really important!”
Andy: “it’s a fantastic thing to be part of.”
Nicola: “The training I received for the role opened my eyes to the challenges young people are facing.”
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming an Independent Visitor, please contact:
Anthony Andrews on 01225 713961 or IVScheme@wiltshire.gov.uk
More information can also be found at http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/children-young-people-independent-visitor-scheme