Volunteer Independent Visitor

The role of the volunteer is to be an adult friend to a child who may not have much contact with their parents. Volunteers befriend children on a long term, open-ended basis. The emphasis is on developing a positive relationship with a child, building up trust. We help volunteers to do this by giving support to both volunteers and children and helping them to build a relationship within positive boundaries. A volunteer can be the one person who stays regularly involved and is consistent when everything is changing for the child (social worker, home, etc.) One to one We only match one child or young person with one `volunteer. This means that the child doesn’t have to ‘share’ a volunteer in the same way that they do a carer or social worker, who may be working with many other children at the same time. Also, volunteers can concentrate on getting to know one child and be there just for them. Independent
Duration: Ongoing
When can volunteers volunteer? Fortnightly, Monthly

This grid shows when you can volunteer for this organisation. E.G Monday morning.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Tasks the volunteer will be required to do:

They will take an interest in what the child enjoys or might be good at, as well as exploring new things that they may never have had the opportunity or confidence to try.
Empower and encourage-Volunteers can empower a child by encouraging and supporting them to make decisions, and by sharing decisions with the child, so that their confidence increases.
They will look at the world through the child/ young person’s eyes, to see things from their point of view. Remember to think about their body language and communication.

Skill and Qualifications Required:

The main criteria for an Independent Volunteer is a sincere desire to help young people living within the care system as well as the ability to communicate effectively with young people.

Areas of Interest: Children, Community, Families, Mental Health, Young people
Opportunity suitable for: Long term commitment, Older people, University students, 18 and over
What activities will the volunteer do? Befriending, Mentoring, Providing advice, Support Work, Youth work
Skills gained in this role: Listening, Managing people, Negotiating, Organising, Talking to others
Home based opportunity? No
DBS Check Required: Yes
Opportunity Accessibility: The volunteering location is not accessible

About the host organisation

Hosted by: Oldham Children's Rights Service
Organisation Profile: The Oldham Children’s Rights, Advocacy & Independent Visiting Service is part of Excel Social Work Services. The directors of this service are both qualified social workers with many years’ experience of child care provision, in both residential, community services including advocacy and fostering settings. They have worked in the voluntary, statutory and private sector. The Managing Director was also the chair of the board of trustees and a governor at a large residential school, and the Operations Director was an inspector of children and adult social care services, prior to forming Excel Services. We are excited to provide this service for Oldham and are looking forward to developing the service, alongside the Oldham Children In Care Council and the CICC Young Voices Group. The service will provide children and young people with information, advice, advocacy and support. We will: • Ensure that children and young people are aware of and able to access appropriate services • Provide advice and information so that children and young people are empowered to ensure their views and wishes are heard, their rights are respected and reflected in the decision making about their lives in order to assist them in making balanced decisions regarding their welfare and support. • To ensure that children and young people are informed of their rights under the Children Act 1989 and 2004 and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. • Provide an independent visitor to advise and befriend those children and young people who are looked after, where it is considered in their best interests to build meaningful and purposeful relationships. • Provide advocacy for children and young people who are subject of Child Protection Plans. • Play a role in supporting and developing practice by highlighting issues of policy and practice to the various departments and agencies in Oldham which provide services to children and young people. • Visit young people who are new to individual residential children’s homes in borough and will visit all homes regularly if they have not had any new young people recently. The Service is aimed at children and young people who are: • Looked after in foster carer or residential homes within the borough of Oldham • Looked after in foster care or residential homes outside of the borough of Oldham • Placed with parents/relatives • Placed with adopting parents prior to the making of the adoption order • Young People in custody who are subject of Care Orders or on remand • Children on a Child Protection Plan • Children in Need • Children with disabilities • Care Leavers up to the age of 21 (up to the age of 25 in accordance with Keep On Caring, July 2016) • Homeless 16 and 17 year olds • Unaccompanied asylum seekers provides