Jason (15) and Hailey (Independent Visitor) have been matched since August 2011. They have fallen into the routine of visits every other Thursday without fail and Hailey has shown herself to be highly committed to Jason and to have a genuine care for his wellbeing.

Throughout their relationship Hailey has supported Jason through a change of school, up and down contact with his mum and siblings, anger issues and most significantly four placement moves, including a number of months in one of the residential homes. Hailey has always provided feedback for Jason’s looked after reviews in addition to attending the majority of them. Below is the feedback provided by Hailey and the accompanying response from the independent reviewing officer from Jasons’s most recent review:

Hailey’s comments

I have known Jason for over 7 years now, and I think of him as my “adopted 3rd child” and treat him just as I would my own children when we’re together (whilst respecting the boundaries of our relationship of course)

We get on well and have a lot of fun on our visits, but he doesn’t really open up to me very often about his problems. I know he has issues with anger, and there was an occasion where he talked to me a bit about this, but I think he’s buried his feelings very deep, and his frustration comes out in his anger. I think Jason would benefit from speaking to an expert about this, as I believe that he is a bright lad who could do well in life.

I believe that Jason has frustrations about his situation, and I’m sad and disappointed that his placements have broken down and that he is now in a children’s home. I would love for Jason to be with a family, in a family environment, and preferably one with male and female role models. Jason needs a combination of love/affection and discipline in equal measures, plus an outlet for helping/controlling his anger (cadets, boxing, sport). I won’t ever give up on Jason and I’ll be his Independent Visitors for as long as he wants one.

From Jason:

Hailey is the best volunteer!

She meets me every two weeks and has done since we met. When I first met Hailey I was nearly 8. Hailey always tells me I was very giggly, talkative and obsessed with cars. She would never say what she wanted to do on our visits I always had to pick from 2 or 3 choices. In the beginning we mainly used to go for walks, to the park, to the museums or swimming but now we go for food or the cinema. I am really pleased that Hailey is my independent visitor and I wouldn’t want anyone else, she make me laugh every time we meet up.”

Feedback from the social worker:

Hailey has been brilliant for Jason, he never stops talking about the things they have got up to playing football in the park or just sitting and catching up over a cup of tea. Hailey really knows Jason and how he is feeling and is the one person who can cheer him up when he is having a bad day.

Hailey has been that one person who has been there since day one for Jason, with all the changes from school, to placement moves and the unfortunate changes in social workers she has been that consistent adult.

I am pleased that Jason has Hailey in his life and that she is so committed to him and his future. I just wanted to say a big thank you and keep up the good work.”

Feedback received from Independent Reviewing Officer:

I’ve just finished typing up Jason’s review notes and wanted to give some really positive feedback about Hailey and to highlight the important role of independent visitors in general, from my perspective.

Hailey sent in a really informative report for the review meeting and I was really touched by her total commitment to Jason. In her report, Hailey expressed her view about Jason’s emotional well-being, possible reasons for this and offered suggestions about how the local authority can support Jason to avoid further placement breakdowns and I guess, in order for Jason to lead a happy life.

As the Independent Reviewing Officer, I really welcome such input from Independent Visitors and feel it is so relevant. Depending upon the nature and I guess length of relationship, Independent Visitors can be a constant in a child’s life amongst the changes they may experience ... Therefore, they may be the one person who knows that child really well (i.e. Hailey clearly knows Jason really well) and are really vital in being part of the planning for that child.

So I just wanted Hailey to know what a fab job she is doing and that I really appreciated her report as it gave some insight into who Jason is and what he may be going through.