When someone applies to be an IV they will experience a thorough induction and training process.  Independent Visitors complete a thorough induction and training process specific to the role, and receive on-going support to give them the skills and knowledge to confidently fulfil their role. Being matched with a child or young person is a very special process and does not happen overnight, you need to show commitment and patience, to ensure you are matched with the right child or young person. Volunteers will always undergo enhanced DBS checks and referencing.

For a lovely video on the process of becoming an IV, check out Leicestershire IV Service’s video:

A Social Worker or IV Coordinator will visit the young person to find out what their interests are and the type of person they would like to be matched with. Children and young people will be consulted throughout the process and wherever possible be given a choice of IVs. Once a child or young person is matched with an IV they will keep continually review the match, to make sure both are happy and enjoying their time together.

Initial training includes: safeguarding, children in care, boundaries, confidentiality, communication, equality and diversity, health and safety. Services provide on-going training on relevant topics for example, child sexual exploitation and young people leaving care.

Specific training should also be offered for IVs working with disabled children and those with additional needs.

There will also be ongoing support for IVs through a range of forums. These include; meetings, supervision, groups, social media, ongoing training, out of hours procedures and regular communication. IVs should also be provided with a Code of Conduct.

Services should give Independent Visitors any feedback on how the match is going, from the perspective of the child (with their agreement), carers and social workers to encourage them and support them with developing the relationship.

IVs will also be given a budget to cover agreed travel and activity expenses.

Andy’s story

Check out this video about Andy’s experience of being an Independent Visitor with Wiltshire Council.

Ian’s story

I became an Independent Visitor two years ago with the hope of using my spare time to bring a little fun and stability to a young person’s life. Having had interactions with…