Can you spare a few hours a month to help support a vulnerable child or young person and make a difference to their life?
If so why not apply to become a volunteer for our Kirklees Independent Visitors Scheme? Full training will be given to the right people and you'll be supported all the way in your new role.
6 Reasons to become an Independent Visitor
- You can make a positive difference to a young person's life at a time when they are easily impressionable and easily led astray. Having a friend and a close mentor can make them less likely to run away from care or to engage in criminal activity
- You can make new friends and create unforgettable memories and experiences. Let's not forget that friendship and respect goes two ways!
- By becoming an Independent Visitor, you join our network of highly trained volunteers. All our volunteers receive regular training and development and support for professional goals
- It is completely flexible. You can fit it in around your own time and work commitments, planning activities and visits at times that suit you and as frequently as the young person wishes.
- Your expenses are covered! That's right - we cover all your expenses to visit your young person, leaving one less thing to worry about.
- You will make a difference in a child's life, whilst having fun! There may be some serious or emotional aspects of being an Independent Visitor, but you both also get to make enjoyable memories!
Children in care
Children and young people who are looked after (children in care) throughout our area need an adult who has time to spend with them, take them on activities and outings and be someone they can talk to and trust.
The children and young people who would benefit from an independent visitor come from a wide range of backgrounds. Many are teenagers and some are younger children.
In Kirklees, there are many children and young people in the care of the local authority who would benefit from a positive relationship with a trusted, responsible adult.
What is an Independent Visitor?
An Independent Visitor is a volunteer over the age of 18 who has time to spend with one of these children or young people.
Independent Visitors are chosen by each individual child or young person to be someone that they can talk to and get along with.
An Independent Visitor is NOT a social worker or carer. They are not paid to spend time with the child or young person, they do it because they want to. To be 'independent'. volunteers cannot have case responsibility for looked after children in Kirklees.
What does an Independent Visitor do?
By becoming an Independent Visitor, you can help give a looked after child or young person regular, independent adult support and guidance, as well as having some fun along the way. Independent Visitors:
- Must be committed to the safety and well being of young people
- Must have the skills to befriend, listen to and support young people
- Will receive a thorough induction, peer group support, ongoing supervision and development
- Have a fantastic opportunity to enhance their knowledge, skills and gain valuable experience
- Go on enjoyable activities and have fun!
Independent Visitors will visit their young person regularly. This might be more often to start with whilst you are getting to know each other.
Hopefully you will have lots in common such as hobbies and interests. You might wish to arrange to do these together.
An Independent Visitor is also someone who the child or young person could talk to and ask for advice. They may ask you to support them in their review or meetings at school.
Independent Visitors are volunteers and are not paid for the time they spend with their child or young person, but they can reclaim their expenses.
Who can have an Independent Visitor?
We would like all young people in care in Kirklees to have one, if they want one.
Sometimes there are young people who really need an Independent Visitor because they don't have much contact with their family or friends. We try to get them one first.
It can sometimes take a while for us to find each child or young person the right Independent Visitor. We need to ensure we have a wide variety of people registered as Independent Visitors, to maximise successful matches with our looked after children and young people.
How long can I be an Independent Visitor?
You can be an Independent Visitor for as long as both you and the child or young person are happy to keep visiting each other. This might be for a short time or for many years. We ask volunteers to commit a minimum of one year to the scheme.
We will keep checking with both of you to make sure everything is going well and you are both still happy.
What training and support is available for Independent Visitor Volunteers?
As an Independent Visitor you will receive training to prepare you for the role, together with peer support and on-going supervision and development.
You are reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses. The role offers a fantastic opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills, gain valuable experience and make a vital contribution to the lives of young people in Kirklees.
What happens then?
Each looked after child or young person is able to request an Independent Visitor for themselves. Once a child or young person makes a request, we find out the kind of person they would like to be their Independent Visitor and find one of our volunteers we think would be suitable.
Information about the suggested Independent Visitor is then provided to the child or young person for them to look at.
If the child or young person agrees, a meeting is arranged between them, the proposed Independent Visitor and the Independent Visitor Coordinator. This gives you the chance to meet each other and for the child or young person to decide if they will enjoy spending time with you.If the child or young person decides they are happy with the proposed Independent Visitor then you will be allowed to start visiting them.
How do I become an Independent Visitor?
The needs and safety of our looked after children and young people are paramount. For that reason, we need to make sure that all volunteers are good people who enjoy spending time with young people and who young people will enjoy spending time with.
All Independent Visitors complete an application form prior to being invited for an interview. We also do police checks, ask for references and run an initial training course before you will be introduced to any children or young people.
Once you are accepted as an Independent Visitor, you will receive ongoing training and support from a professional volunteer coordinator.
Apply to become and Independent Visitor
Fill in our simple online form on Kirklees Council Jobs website
This job is subject to an enhanced DBS check. A conviction may not exclude candidates from appointment but will be considered as part of the recruitment process.
Paperclip To complete this form you will need:- To create an account on the Kirklees Jobs Website.Apply online
For more information on the Independent Visitors scheme.