Havering Independent Visitors Service

The Havering Independent Visitors Service offers befriending support to every Havering child or young people in care up to the age of 18, whether they are placed in or out of the borough.

What is an Independent Visitor?

An Independent Visitor is a volunteer who is independent from Children’s Social Care. They are matched with a child or young person in care and act solely in their interests. They will visit a child or young person every two-three weeks, take part in activities together, and listen to their thoughts, hopes and concerns. All volunteers are over 18 years old, and are fully trained and checked.

If a child or young person in care requires representation at meetings and forums, to ensure that their voice is heard, they will need to access the Havering Children’s Rights Advocacy Service (link)

Who runs the Service?

Havering Independent Visitor Service is run by the Early Help Service, to ensure it is separate from Children’s Social Care and to ensure there is no conflict of interest.

What can an Independent Visitor offer a young person?

An Independent Visitor commits to up to 18 months of visits and befriending support (should the young person wish to continue for this length of time). A young person can guarantee that their Independent Visitor is matched with them alone. Visits will take place every two-three weeks, at venues and including activities according to the wishes of each young person. The Service is led by the young person at every stage.

How is a young person matched with their Independent Visitor?

When a referral is accepted, the young person will be contacted to capture their thoughts and wishes regarding the Independent Visitor they would like to be matched with, and what they want to gain from the Service. A volunteer matching this profile is approached and an initial, introduction meeting will take place with the young person, to ensure both parties are comfortable before regular visits begin.

How can a young person access the Service?

To make a referral, please download and complete the attached referral form. For further information on Havering Independent Visitor Service, please contact Rachel Tapp on 01708 432321 or rachel.tapp@havering.gov.uk

Complete a referral form

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