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Become an Independent Visitor

14 February 2018

Would you like to make a difference to a young person in care with little or no contact with their birth family?


An Independent Visitor is a volunteer who regularly spends time with a child or young person in care. They need to be dependable and reliable in order to build a trusting and positive relationship with the child or young person over time. 


They endeavour to become and remain a consistent adult in the child’s life, who doesn’t change when foster homes or social workers change, and who at all times keeps the child or young person at the centre of what they do.

As an Independent Visitor you will meet with the child or young person you are matched with approximately once a month to take them out, have fun, be a good role model and most of all enjoy one another’s company.

Some young people live in out-of-county placements and often feel very  isolated. They could benefit hugely from regular visits from a volunteer, so being prepared to travel might also enable them to experience  the benefits of an independent visitor in their life

How to apply

We ask that you are able to commit for two years, thereby providing the young person with long-term consistency. Before you can become an Independent Visitor we request references and undertake checks, including DBS.
You will need to undertake a two day introductory course followed by safeguarding training. Following approval as an independent visitor, you will be provided with on-going support and training.


Refer a child for an Independent Visitor

Are you working with a child or young person in care who might benefit from the support of an independent adult role model? Children in local authority care should be offered an independent visitor in line with the Children Act (1989 and 2004.)

An Independent Visitor's role includes:
  • visiting and befriending the child or young person
  • contributing towards their social, emotional and educational development
  • attending their statutory review (if appropriate)
  • supporting and encouraging the young person to participate in the decisions that may be made about them
  • keeping basic records of visits
  • volunteering in line with Essex County Council guidelines


This is achieved through regular contact by phone, visits and outings approximately once a month.

How to make a referral

If you would like to discuss how to make a referral, please emaill: 

Or by post:

Independent Visitor Service
Family Ops – E3
County Hall
Market Rd
CM1 1 LX


By phone: 03330 137173 or 03330 134259