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Dorset services

Independent Visitors

Independent Visitors

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

If you join the Independent Visitor programme, you can decide the kind of meet up you'd like – would you like to try a new sport or activity? Or just catch up over a cup of tea every month?

The Independent Visitor programme is open to children and young people in care up to the age of 18.

One young person living in Dorset said:

"I can talk to [my independent visitor] about problems I have with contact with my family or worries I have about school, or anything. They listen to me and give me advice about who I can talk to or what I could do. 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."

Like any friendship, your relationship with your Independent Visitor will build over time and may last for a number of years.

The matching process for a young person and an Independent Visitor is two way. You will be given information about potential Independent Visitors and then both of you will decide whether you could be a suitable match before you meet.

On finding a provisional match, you and your Independent Visitor will attend a meeting with the volunteer coordinator and carer/social worker. If that goes well and both sides want to meet again, the match is successful.

You will then meet every few weeks to do fun activities together or just to have a chat.

How to take part

Your social worker will usually refer you to the Independent Visitor programme, but you can also refer yourself.

If you’d like to find out more about referring yourself, please text IV followed by your name to 07889 604216 and we will get back to you.  

If you would like to support a young person, find out more about becoming a volunteer Independent Visitor now.

Need information or advice?

Find a list of organisations who can offer you support.

Visit the useful links page