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Your right to an Independent Visitor

Independent Visitors are for children in care aged 5-18 who want to have a friendship with an adult outside the care system.

Last updated: 9 May 2022

Who can have an Independent Visitor?

Independent Visitors are for children in care aged 5-18 who want to have a friendship with an adult who is outside the care system.

Who are Independent Visitors?

Independent Visitors are just ordinary people. They are called Independent because they are not social workers and are not part of children’s services. They are not paid for this role and give their time because they enjoy the company of young people.

What sort of things would I do with my Independent Visitor?

Whatever you like doing. You and your Independent Visitor would decide together where you would like to go and what you would like to do. It could be playing sport, watching sport, going for walks, cinema, theatre, bowling, ice skating, cycling, flying a kite, window shopping, chatting over a milkshake and snack, visiting museums, farms, zoos….whatever you enjoy.

How often would I see my Independent Visitor?

Your Independent Visitor would visit you regularly either at the weekend or in the evening. Every time you meet you plan your next visit together. That way you always know when your Independent Visitor is next coming to see you.

Why have an Independent Visitor?

Independent Visitors are there to support you, listen to you and be your friend. They will only be an Independent Visitor for you, not anyone else. You can ask your Independent Visitor to go to your review or another meeting with you to provide support.

How do I get an Independent Visitor?

If you would like an Independent Visitor, ask your social worker to contact CoramVoice. They'll then see if they have an Independent Visitor who they think you'd like. You may have to wait a while, but once they find one, they'll contact you and arrange an introduction.  After you've had a few visits together you can decide if you want to continue seeing them.

Would my Independent Visitor be confidential?

Independent Visitors will not share anything you say that you wish to keep private. The only exception is if you say something that makes them think you or someone else may be in danger or harmed. If they feel you have, they'll let you know who they are going to tell and why. This is likely to be your social worker or Children's Services.

How long would I have an Independent Visitor?

If you are in long term care you can keep your Independent Visitor until you are 18 if you want. After that you can remain friends for always, but Coram Voice will no longer be involved. If you move placement or change social workers your Independent Visitor will continue to visit you unless you no longer want them to. That is your decision.

If you'd like to find out more about an Independent Visitor speak to your social worker, carer, or IRO.

You can also contact the service co-ordinator directly who will be happy to help.

Melanie Ditmore IV Coordinator