Young peoples advocacy and Independent Visitors Scheme (IVS)
Advocacy in Barnet
Advocacy means helping you to express your views and making sure that these views are taken seriously.
We will help you:
- find out about your rights, so that you can make up your own mind about what you want to happen
- explain your views and will make sure that people listen to you
- become involved in any plans being made about you by speaking to those who are supporting you for example; social workers, teachers or family
- if you need to make a complaint and support you through the process
The Advocacy Service is available for children and young people who are either a Child in Care, child on a CP plan or a Care Leaver.
This service provides you with an independent advocate when you are in a situation that you need help with.
A trained professional can advocate on behalf of the child or young person, making sure their rights are respected and their views and wishes are heard.
If you would like an Advocate, you can ask your Social Worker to refer you, or you can self-refer directly to Action for Children by:
Telephone: 020 7254 9408
Independent Visitors Scheme (IVS)
Independent Visitors (IVs) are unpaid volunteers who are matched with a child or young person in care. They can help by visiting, advising and befriending a looked after child or young person.
Independent Visitors are usually with you for at least 2 years. They can meet with you at least once a month to have fun, share activities and spend time 1 to 1.
You will benefit from a supportive, reliable, fun and confidential relationship with an adult who is independent from the professionals around you.
You can decide which activities to take part in, giving you access to:
- stimulating positive opportunities
- new hobbies and interests
- a space to talk
- ongoing support in any areas needed, for example, growing independence or placement stability
It is your right to have an independent visitor.
If you are aged 5 to 18 years and think you would benefit from having an Independent Visitor then please speak to your Social worker or IRO and they can refer you.
COVID-19 Service Update
During the pandemic our Advocacy and IVS Services provided by Action for Children, continues to be committed to supporting children and young people.
Advocates and IVs are continuing to accept new referrals and to provide advocacy services to children and young people.
Risk assessments are being completed by social workers, so that face to face contact can be resumed where it's safe.
Advocates also continue to work with young people via telephone and video apps, making sure each young person has a space where they can go to talk in confidence.
Advocates continue to assess on a case by case basis what the most appropriate route is to reach young people.