The Young Lives Foundation has been re-accredited with The NCVO Mentoring and Befriending Approved Provider Standard, 2017-2020!
Befriending is the incredibly rewarding role of an Independent Visitor that involves visiting, advising and befriending a young person in care, taking a long term interest in their well-being and development. Our independent visitors are volunteers who want to make a difference to the lives of young people.
The young people referred for an independent visitor may be in foster homes or residential care but feel they would like to have someone special of their own. Many young people in care lack a consistent adult relationship and miss out on the experiences this can offer. This is especially the case for young people who live a long way from their families and for unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people. As volunteers are independent this allows the young people to discuss a wider range of topics and share any concerns openly.
Volunteers are asked to maintain contact by visiting the young person at least twice a month and having regular telephone contact for a minimum period of 2 years. It is helpful if independent visitors have use of a car and are available in the evening and on weekends.
The role of an independent visitor is statutory and included in the 1989 Children Act. This allows the visitor to have a say in the young person’s care plan and accompany the young people to meetings and to speak on their behalf.
“I would like to thank you, and all the staff at YLF, for giving me the opportunity to have K in my life. For myself the relationship has been enriching and joyous and seeing her develop and mature into a kind, considerate, intelligent adult makes me so proud of what she has overcome and achieved entirely all her own merits.” Mary | Independent Visitor
Befriending can involve:
- sharing in regular social activities with their young person
- assisting with problems and concerns
- giving advice and being there to listen
- attending meetings with young people
To find out more about Befriending and becoming a volunteer, please download an info pack.