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 children and young people growing up in care.  At the heart of our mission sits research and learning to drive forward campaigning work and activity to improve the quality of IV services.

Few children and young people are matched with an IV befriender, reflecting the low profile of IV services across many local areas in England and Wales.  To effectively influence local authorities and national Government to invest more in IV and better understand how to strengthen IV services, we need evidence of the difference IV befriending relationships make.  NIVN has published three data reports that highlight access rates across England and Wales.  However, published evidence remains very limited.  Independent Visitor Legislation and Research: An Overview (

To address this gap in research and build an evidence base, last autumn we commissioned Praxis Collab to work with us to understand what works well for children and young people in the IV befriending relationship.  Praxis Collab is now delivering a research project with care-experienced young people, IV volunteers and professionals and local authority colleagues working in children’s social care.

More news

Doughnut Cat and Mr. Taco Head introduce the Independent Visitor role!

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.

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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

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