Action for Children - London Independent Visitors

Service details

Who are we? 

Action for Children protects and supports children and young people, providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard, and campaigning to bring lasting improvements to their lives.

 They provide a range of services including:

  • Working with children and families, to make sure they get the help they need. 
  • Working in partnership with local authorities and other agencies
  • Giving young people the chance to fulfill their potential, and make the most of their lives

What do we do? 

Action for Children - London Independent Visitors offer volunteer mentors to children in care. Mentors are there to develop a long-term friendship with a young person and give them opportunities to access hobbies and interests, gain independence skills, and generally have a fun day out.

Action for Children’s Independent Visitors Service has nearly 200 volunteers – Independent Visitors (IV) that befriend young people in care, often over several years, providing them with fun days out and lasting, memorable experiences.

They’re a listening ear in times of trouble and a companion through joy and success. Independent Visitors provide consistency and stability in the life of a child
who can experience many changes and transitions throughout their time in care.

Through building a lasting relationship with a child, Independent Visitors help them to grow in other aspects of their development. Children with long-term Independent Visitors experience increased confidence, reduced anxiety, and improved social and communication skills.

How long does an Independent Visitor work with a young person?

Meeting them once a month, for a minimum of two years, Independent Visitors (IV) are there to listen and to help young people to talk and think about everyday things. During this time, they’ll support them in their interests, mentor them to make their own decisions, and be a positive influence.

On their visits, they can have a chat, go for a walk, and give children the opportunity to try new activities or go to new places.

What do people think of the Independent Visitor Service?

"Nazim* has increased in confidence immeasurably. He has had the opportunity to open up with a consistent adult." Independent Visitor

"Having an Independent Visitor really is the best thing for Alex, he thinks Sami* is the best thing since sliced bread!" Foster Carer

"Having an Independent Visitor gives Shireen* an opportunity to interact with different people, engage in activities, and build a trusting relationship with someone who is not her social worker/authority figure." Social worker

"I feel really comfortable around her. It's like I can talk to her about anything." Young person supported by an IV

* names were changed but the feedback is the same. 

Volunteer with us

Being an Independent Visitor is a hugely rewarding experience and helps to improve the life of a vulnerable child. Please contact us if you would like to become one or find out more about volunteering with us. 

SEND Local Offer

Local Offer Age Bands
Secondary 11-14
Preparing for Adulthood 14-18
Young Adults 18 - 25
SEN Provision Type
  • Targeted
  • Specialist

Who to contact

020 7254 9408 020 7254 9408
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Where to go

The Print House
Units 3+4
18 Ashwin Street

E8 3DL

View E8 3DL on a map
Venue Notes

Buses: 55, 56, 67, 76, 149, 243, 277

Train: Dalston Junction, Dalston Kingsland

Time / Date Details

Session Information
Once a month on average for 2 years

Other details

Referral required?


Referral Details

Young people can request an Independent Visitor by speaking to their social worker who will make the referral. During a young person’s review, the social worker will inform the young person of the service.

If you are a social worker and would like to refer a young person for an IV, please email and you will be sent a referral form.

Hackney referrals usually come through Hackney's Looked After Children and Leaving Care Team

What to do if you have a complaint

If there’s something you like or are not happy with, then talk about it with the worker or service manager. 

You can also discuss any concerns with your social worker or whoever referred you to the service. 

Feedback from parents and others who have used this service

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