We’re thrilled to introduce ‘Doughnut Cat and Mr. Taco Head’! A new, short animation to promote the role of an Independent Visitor (IV), a voluntary befriender, for children growing up in care. 

We are a campaigning and good practice network of professionals, volunteer befrienders and care-experienced children and young people. We work to a single, transformational goal: to ensure more children and young people growing up in care, experience a great IV friendship.

The number of children and young people matched with an IV befriender remains stubbornly low; just 3.5% in England and 1% in Wales (Source: The National Independent Visitor Data Report 2022 – National Independent Visitor Network).

We know from consultation with children and young people that too often, they aren’t told about their legal entitlement to an IV in a way that makes sense to them.

To address this, we’ve collaborated with James Parsons from Crazy Comic Club and befriender/animator Clarissa Hanekom, alongside the creative input of young people with care experience. Together, we’ve produced this unbranded, short animation to demystify the IV role for children in care in a relatable and engaging manner. 

Our intention is for this video to spark meaningful conversations between children in care and those around them, ultimately raising awareness of the invaluable IV role.

We urge you to help us in our mission by sharing this video widely amongst those who work directly with children in care. Together, let’s ensure that every child growing up in care is aware of their entitlement to an IV. Please support us by promoting this video across your online platforms and professional networks

Connect with us!






More news

What do children need and want from IV befriending relationships?

As a movement of Independent Visitor (IV) professionals, volunteer befrienders and care-experienced young people, NIVN’s goal is increase the number of high-quality IV friendships for

Read more

Government Review of Children’s Social Care and creation of new National Standards for IV provision

In September 2022, we posted our response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England that launched in 2021. NIVN contributed to the

Read more