Independent Visitor (Mentor/Befriender) for Young People in care in Croydon and South London

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Location: 4th Floor, Bernard Weatherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon, CR0 1EA (see map)

Travel: East Croydon station. Croydon Library bus stop.

Start date: 16/09/2019 (ongoing)

What will I be doing?

  • Independent visitors are volunteers who befriend and support children and young people aged up to 18 who are looked after by the local authority. All looked after children should, by law, be offered the chance to have an independent visitor.
  • Independent Visitors meet regularly with a young person to do activities together, talk, be supportive and have fun. This might be a trip to the cinema or bowling, a day out in London or just a coffee and a chat.
  • Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds are welcome. We are particularly keen to recruit male volunteers and people from BAME communities. 
  • You do not need any specific qualifications, experience or background to be an independent visitor. 
  • You do need to be able to demonstrate to us that you have the aptitude and personal qualities to relate appropriately to a young person and offer them support as an independent visitor.
  • Independent Visitors meet their young person every 2 -3 weeks for a few hours.  
An Independent Visitor holding a sign explaining why he volunteers

An Independent Visitor holding a sign explaining why he volunteers

What impact will this have?

  • Volunteers can make a real difference to a young person by sharing a hobby, sport or interest. They can help with school or college work or help a young person learn about their own or other people's culture. 
  • All the activities will be what the young person wants to do. These will be agreed with the Independent Visitor and their carers.
  • This gives them the chance to have fun and make their own choices.

When are you needed?

Options available:
Available times for volunteering role
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Commitment

  • We ask for volunteers to commit to a young person for a minimum of 18 months.

What else do I need to know?

  • To make sure all of the volunteers we recruit are safe and suitable for the role, volunteers must undergo a clear and comprehensive selection process involving interviews, reference checks, training and a panel interview. 
  • We will examine Children's Services records and carry out an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring) check. 
  • These checks are carried out to ensure the safeguarding of young people and volunteers.

Expenses

  •  No volunteer should be out of pocket for anything they do as part of their role as an independent visitor. We pay volunteers allowances for agreed activities and transport costs.

Background checks

  • A DBS check is required

About the organisation:

Additional Information

What skills will be useful?
  • Interpersonal
  • Advice and support
  • Caring
  • Listening
  • Mentoring
  • Youth work
  • Professional
What skills can I gain?
  • Charity
  • Creative
  • Interpersonal
  • Counselling
  • Listening
  • Mentoring
  • Youth work
  • Practical
  • Professional

Training

  • We offer training, ongoing support and expenses for our volunteers so they can focus on the young person.
  • All independent visitors have regular one to one and group support including reviews of the volunteer role. Once matched, You will be assigned a Volunteer Co -ordinator who will support you with any questions or concerns you may have on an ongoing basis. We will also support you to access further training to help in your IV role.
  • The training includes sessions on: children's rights, safeguarding children, the role of an Independent Visitor, communication, confidentiality, Children's Services procedures, issues facing looked after children, and managing children's behavior.

Location

4th Floor, Bernard Weatherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon, CR0 1EA

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