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  • Do you want to make a positive difference to the life of a young person in care?
  • Can you spare a few hours each month?
  • Can you be a constant and long-term adult role model?

We are looking for people to volunteer as an Independent Visitor (IV). An IV is a volunteer that provides a long-term supportive relationship to a young person (aged between 5 and 18 years) who is looked after in care.

The IV service is a befriending service that will match you with a young person in care in Portsmouth (and the surrounding areas) who you will meet with on a 1-2-1 basis once or twice a month to do fun activities. Young people in care often have a lot of disruption – changes in social workers, changes in foster placements, moving schools etc. The IV service hopes to provide young people in care with a long term and consistent adult who can be a stable mentor, role model and friend. It can be a truly rewarding experience for you and for the young person you are matched with.

You will get to know them, take them out on monthly activities and provide a listening ear if they seek advice or require support during your time together. We cover all approved expenses and mileage costs to undertake activities with your young person, leaving one less thing to worry about. IVs are independent of statutory bodies and social services.

If you are over 18 and can commit long term to giving a few hours each month we want to hear from you. Successful completion of enhanced DBS checks and references will be required which we will organise as part of the recruitment process. You will then need to undertake some training sessions which are usually arranged to fit around any existing working or studying commitments. As a volunteer you will receive continual support and training via group support sessions and 1-2-1 catch up sessions.

Once accredited you will be carefully matched with a young person in care. The match process is generally based on where you live, your availability and your interests and hobbies.

Being an independent visitor is an increasingly vital and valuable role that can make a positive difference to a child’s life. You can help a child in care to feel safe, supported and listened to.

We encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to join our wonderful team.  Could this be you?

Email independentvisitors@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or call 07920 087560