Task description for independent visitors
Main purpose: To visit, support and advise a child or young person being looked after by the local authority, who has infrequent, irregular, or no contact with parents or those with parental responsibility.
Aim: To contribute to the welfare of the young person, and to promote the young person’s needs, including developmental, social, emotional, educational, religious or cultural needs.
Accountable to: IV Coordinator
- To visit the child/young person on a regular basis. To make arrangements in advance with the young person’s carer and the young person, and to be reliable in keeping appointments. Visits may involve taking the young person out to promote his/her interests and needs.
- To make an open ended commitment if possible to the child/young person, attempting to establish with him/her a sense of trust in the relationship.
- To advise the child/young person regarding various issues, as needed. Where complex situations arise, the independent visitor will seek guidance from the IV Co-ordinator. The child/young person can be encouraged to seek advice from others, particularly those involved in his/her care, such as his carer or social worker.
- To be available to undertake training and to meet with the IV Co-ordinator at regular intervals.
- To liaise with the IV Co-ordinator and, as appropriate, with the young person’s carers or social worker.
- To encourage the child/young person’s awareness of his/her case reviews, and to encourage his/her participation in decisions affecting their life. This may include encouraging and enabling the young person to express his/her views and wishes to others.
- To contribute, at the request of the child/young person – or, if appropriate, at the request of others – to the local authority’s regular review of a young person’s case. Contributions may be in writing or verbally at meetings, and should include representing the young person’s views and wishes.
- To contribute views in other situations outside of the formal review procedures, after consulting with the child/young person.
- To respect rules of confidentiality and conduct and to keep any confidential information safely stored. To return all confidential information regarding a young person to the project office if the role of the independent visitor comes to an end.
- To refer to the IV Co-ordinator (or in their absence to the social worker) where there are serious concerns about the young person’s welfare. To follow specified contact procedures in these situations.
- To keep records of expenses incurred and to submit monthly activity sheets as required.
- We try to respond to the needs of individuals, therefore many of the tasks and responsibilities may be unpredictable and varied. It is expected that volunteers will be flexible when needed, undertaking tasks that have not specifically been named in their task description, but come under their general level of responsibility.