Visit Main Site

Dorset services

Become an Independent Visitor

Become an Independent Visitor

Dorset Independent Visitors recruits, trains and supports long-term volunteer mentors. It is independent of the local authority in which the young person is in care.

As an adult friend, Independent Visitors give time and support to a young person in care, who has little or no contact with their birth family.

Like any friendship, these relationships build over time and can last for a number of years. We currently have some young people who have been matched for over seven years!

What does it involve?

Independent Visitors meet with their young people once every three or four weeks to go out and have fun. You can grab a coffee or something to eat together, or perhaps go bowling or watch a film. There may be something your young person has always wanted to do. Or they might be worried about something they want to talk through with you and ask your advice.

Young people build genuine friendships with their Independent Visitors and for many they are the one constant adult in their lives during the time they are matched.

Please visit the National Independent Visitor Network Website for more information.

Training and support

Volunteer Independent Visitors receive full training, ongoing support and regular supervision as well as team supervision twice a year.

We do ask that you are able to offer a commitment of at least two years once matched with a young person. We always try to match a young person as carefully as possible to ensure a long-term mentoring relationship.

“We do loads of fun activities - it’s made me try new things. It’s made me feel more confident and happier to speak out. They’re someone I can rely on and who looks out for me.”

- Independent Visitor participant

Young people are usually referred to the Independent Visitor programme by their social worker. This involves filling in a form with some vital information about the young person and completing a risk assessment to make sure we keep everyone safe.

"I find it not just rewarding but humbling. Spending time investing in a young person’s future is a privilege."

- Independent Visitor volunteer.

Get started

Apply now to become an Independent Visitor using the Action for Children online volunteer form.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering before applying please contact us now.

If you're a professional, find out how to refer a young person to the Independent Visitor programme

Independent Visitors

An independent visitor is a trained volunteer who provides children and young people in care with friendship and support.

Find out more

Have a question?

Get in touch to find out more about our services and how we can help you.

Contact us