The National Independent Visitor Development Project launched in March 2014 with the aim to raise awareness around the role of the independent visitor (IV), and introduce a set of national quality standards. This project is funded by the Tudor Trust and hosted by Barnardo’s. The project has helped set up six regional network groups across England and Wales, and these groups have been instrumental in guiding this project.
The National Independent Visitor Network (NIVN) is a membership network which offers support to the Independent Visitor Service providers in England and Wales. The NIVN aims to raise awareness of the IV role in line with the National Standards; improve consistency and standards of IV services; increase the number of children accessing the service; and enable partnership working between service providers nationwide sharing best practice.
NIVN actions and achievements supporting our objectives:
· The network has developed a set of National Standards for the Provision of IV Services , alongside a good practice guide, in partnership with service providers in order to drive forwards improvements to practice and therefore the experience of children in care with their independent visitor
· An online workspace which shares resources, ideas and support for members, as well as regional groups which meet regularly across the country
· Conferences and events for professionals and young people
· The NIVN develops resources and undertakes research to support services, such as a promotional video, National Independent Visitors Data Report 2016, and the current development of a national website
· Contact with decision and policy makers: Ofsted updated their assessment framework, Department for Education recruited IVs from their employees
· Regular discussion and consultation with IV service providers to, for example, develop an outcomes framework, and address assessment and accreditation
· A national database of service providers and a central information resource for prospective volunteers, children and young people and other stakeholders
· Provision of consultation and ongoing support to Local Authorities with limited or no service
· Ongoing promotion and awareness raising of the IV role through social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter