Independent Visitors Scheme

The 1989 Childrens Act states that every child in care who has little or no contact with their birth parents should have at least one person independent of the authority whom they may contact directly about personal problems or concerns they might have. The 2008 Children and Young Peoples Act states that ALL young people in care have a right to an Independent Visitor (IV).

What does an Independent Visitor do?

An Independent Visitor is a long term positive role model for a child or young person who is in care. IVs are volunteers and are independent from the council, and having contact with an adult outside of the care system can often help a child or young person in care.

The IV and young person will meet up initially once a week for a period of 6 weeks and then once a month. The main aim is to have fun and give the young person time to talk to someone outside of the care system if they want to. It is important to know that the IV is not an advocate and should pass any concerns onto the Children's Rights and Advocacy Service. IVs receive an allowance to take part in a positive activity and travel expenses are paid. The IV can attend childcare reviews if the young person wishes them to.

How do I become an Independent Visitor?


If you think a child or young person in care would benefit from an Independent Visitor, please make a referral by contacting the Child's Rights Officer: