Could you make a positive difference to the life of a child or young person who is in care?
An independent visitor provides key regular support to a child or young person who is looked after (in foster care or residential care) by Cheshire East Local Authority, and who have infrequent or little contact with parents or those with parental responsibility. The independent visitor will take them out, do activities together, provide support, build a trusting relationship and most importantly have fun! Whilst most children are based in Cheshire, some are out of the Cheshire area so we welcome volunteers from other areas.
Due to the nature of the role, you will need to be able to commit to meeting with a young person at a minimum of once per month for around 3/4 hours, usually after school/early evenings or weekends. We ask volunteers to commit to two years, to ensure the child has stability as children in care have so much change. Please be aware that a degree of travel may be required to get to where the child is based.
The key activities of the role will include:
• Building a relationship with a young person
• Scheduling meet-ups with the young person, completing different activities such as going for food, playing football at the park or going to the cinema.
• Listening to them and their views, supporting them with any issues and encouraging the young person to engage with other services, as appropriate.
• If requested, to provide contribution to a review meeting with the local authority, which reflects the child’s/young person’s viewpoint. This can be either in writing or the by invitation of the child/young person to attend.
• Communicating any safeguarding concerns with the Volunteer Co-ordinator or relevant agency (children’s social care, police) as appropriate.
• Recording case records of each contact with a young person and communicating this with the volunteer co-ordinator.
What are we looking for?
To be effective in this role, we ask that you:
• A volunteer would need to be committed to working with a young person for two years.
• Are able and willing to adhere to The Children’s Society’s policies and procedures at all times, particularly in relation to health and safety, safeguarding and safe practice, and confidentiality.
• Willingness to attend training sessions to gain further knowledge and understanding of the needs and rights of looked after children and young people.
• Are able to effectively support and build a relationship with a young person in a non-judgmental way and are able to be patient and a good listener.
What can we offer you?
• Full induction and training for your role including training on safeguarding, building relationships and The Children’s Society.
• On-going support and guidance from your volunteer manager including regular one-to-one supervision
• Access to a broad range of online learning modules and courses
• Recognition of your commitment and achievements
• A reference once you have been involved with us for a period of time
• Reimbursement of reasonable expenses
• The opportunity to gain an understanding of the issues facing vulnerable young people and to make a positive difference to their lives
• The experience of volunteering within a national charity and within a frontline service supporting vulnerable young people.
• Must be over 18 years of age
• Must be willing to travel
• Must not be an elected member of the local council
• Must not work for the Children’s Services within the local authority
• Must not be a partner of either one of the above
An enhanced DBS Check will be completed and references will be needed.