An Independent Visitor (IV) is a volunteer that is paired with a child or young person in care. They go out on social visits, share hobbies and interests and maybe even try new activities. They are a friend and mentor. Above all they have fun!
Why are Independent Visitors needed?
Some of our young people don’t have much involvement with their birth families once they are in care. An IV gives them a consistent person (who is not their social worker or carer), that they confide in and talk things through with. This can continue up until they are 21 years of age.
How much time would I need to commit?
Ideally a couple of hours every two weeks but this can be flexible. We ask for a minimum commitment of two years, but ideally much longer than this in order to build up trust and continuity in the relationship.
What kind of support would I get?
All of our volunteers attend a core training programme that covers all aspects of the role (currently 1.5 days attendance). Our volunteers then have access to ongoing support from a named Independent Visitor Coordinator as needed. Volunteers also attend group supervision sessions every 12 weeks.
What about the cost of activities?
We provide our volunteers with a small monthly budget to cover the cost of activities and travel expenses.
- Our volunteers have to be at least 21 years of age with no upper age limit. However, they need to be at least 7 years older than the young person that you are matched with.
- We welcome people from all walks of life and backgrounds to reflect the diverse backgrounds and interests of our children and young people.
- We have children and young people living right across the county and sometimes out of Northamptonshire that request an IV.
- If you don’t drive or have a car, that is not a problem. Some of our IVs make use of public transport on their visits. This develops a strong sense of independent travelling for the child or young person.
- Children and young people that have IVs may live in foster homes, residential homes or semi-independent accommodation.
- We have requests for IVs from a wide age range of children and young people, from upper primary age to teenagers.
What our volunteers say
"Hanging out with my young person is awesome. She continues to impress me with her kindness and big heart."
"I feel really privileged to be part of her journey."
"I have loved spending time with my young person, he is fun and easy to be with."
Complete an Independent Visitor application
Contact the Independent Visitor team
To contact the Independent Visitor team for further information, please email