Independent Visitor – Volunteer Opportunity with The Children’s Society

Could you make a positive difference to the life of a child or young person who is in care?

An Independent Visitor provides regular support to a child or young person who is looked after (in foster care or residential care) by Cheshire East Local Authority. The Independent Visitor will work to build a trusting relationship with the young person, take them out on planned activities, provide appropriate support with guidance from the service, and most importantly help them to have fun! Whilst most children are based in Cheshire, some are based in Greater Manchester and the Peak District so we welcome applicants from those areas too.

Due to the nature of the role, you will need to be able to commit to meeting with a young person at a minimum of once per month for around 3/4 hours, usually after school/early evenings or weekends. We ask volunteers to commit to two years, to ensure the child has stability. Please be aware that a degree of travel may be required to get to where the child is based.

To find out more or to apply, please contact Avril Wyke, Volunteer Coordinator on 0161 7632170 or at Avril.Wyke@childrenssociety.org.uk

The key activities of the role will include:

  • Building a supportive and trusting relationship with a young person
  • Scheduling meet-ups with the young person and undertaking different activities the young person is interested in, such as going for food, playing football in the park or going to the cinema.
  • Listening to them and their views, supporting them with any issues appropriately and encouraging the young person to engage with other services as appropriate.
  • If requested, to provide contribution to a review meeting with the local authority, which reflects the child’s/young person’s viewpoint. This can be either in writing or by invitation of the child/young person to attend.
  • Communicating any safeguarding concerns with the Volunteer Co-ordinator or relevant agency (children’s social care, police) as appropriate.
  • Submitting contact notes after each contact / visit with the young person and attending agreed supervision sessions as part of your role (this refers to one-to-one meetings with the Volunteer Coordinator and sometimes group sessions with other volunteers).

Who are we looking for?

To be effective in this role, we ask that you:

  • Are able to commit to working with a young person for a minimum of two years.
  • Are able and willing to adhere to The Children’s Society’s policies and procedures at all times, particularly in relation to health and safety, safeguarding and safe practice, and confidentiality.
  • Are available to attend training sessions to gain further knowledge and understanding of the needs and rights of looked after children and young people.
  • Are able to effectively build a relationship with a young person and support them in a non-judgmental way.
  • Have positive social communication skills.
  • Are patient and a good listener.

Essential requirements:

  • Must be over 18 years of age
  • Must be willing to travel
  • Must not be an elected member of the local council
  • Must not work for the Children’s Services within the local authority
  • Must not be a partner of either one of the above

What can we offer you?

  • Full induction and training for your role including training on safeguarding, building relationships and the work of The Children’s Society.
  • On-going support and guidance from your volunteer manager including regular one-to-one supervision.
  • Access to a broad range of online learning modules and courses.
  • Recognition of your commitment and achievements.
  • A reference once you have been involved with us for a period of time.
  • Reimbursement of reasonable expenses.
  • The opportunity to gain an understanding of the issues facing vulnerable young people and to make a positive difference to their lives.
  • The experience of volunteering within a national charity and within a frontline service supporting vulnerable young people.