Befriending

Our trained volunteers visit, advise and befriend young people in care and take a long-term interest in their well-being and development. In doing this, they act as Independent Visitors for the young people, a role defined in the Children Act 1989.

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The Programme

Our Befriending service is designed for young people in care. Young people may experience multiple changes of placement, carer and social worker during their time in care. Often our volunteer Independent Visitors are the only consistent adult who take a long term interest in the young people’s lives.

The service aims to enable young people to develop social skills and the ability to work at long term relationships. It also helps build their self-esteem, giving them confidence to try new hobbies, to take on board new ideas and to learn from others.

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What Independent Visitors Do

  • Commit to volunteer for a minimum of two years
  • Meet with their young person once a month
  • Will be carefully matched with young people with similar interest
  • Take time to give advice, assist with problems and empower their young person to problem solve
  • Share in a wide range of activities and outings
  • Attend professional meetings at the young person’s request
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Making A Referral

Our befriending service is available to any eligible looked-after young person placed in Kent or Medway.

The young person’s Independent Visitor will visit once a month, these visits will include outings and activities as agreed with the carers and/or the social worker in advance.

We will tailor the arrangement and cost to the specific need of the young person and local authority.

Please contact frank.martin@ylf.org.uk for more information or head to our referral page to make an online referral.

What People Say

“The best thing about having an IV is not only do we do things I like to do, but I’m learning new things that I hadn’t thought would be interesting – like photography.” Abbi, young person

“We do so much together – she’s become a good friend and someone I can rely on. She encourages me and I can talk about things that are worrying me.” Jo, young person

“YLF is offering an excellent service which is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs to the young people it supports.” NCVO, APS Mentoring & Befriending Assessor

“My foster daughter has a wonderful IV who really has been a positive influence as well as a good friend to her. It is lovely for her to be able to choose various activities to do with her IV, often things I am not keen on like trampolining and ice skating!” Vi, carer

What Next?

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Become a Volunteer

Find out how to volunteer as an Independent Visitor

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Get an Independent Visitor

Find out how to make a referral enquiry for an Independent Visitor

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More Info

To download our leaflets head to our Resources page