Sova provide the Independent Visiting Service for young people who are looked after and improve outcomes for Looked After Children by using trained independent volunteers to visit, befriend and advise young people. The independent visitors provide consistency within the lives of young people who may be experiencing a number of changes, they are a source of support, information and guidance, encouraging young people to achieve their full potential and are able to access the full range of opportunities that are available to them.

We match each volunteer with a young person who needs extra support and encouragement, sometimes because they have little or no contact with their own families. The volunteer is there as someone ‘independent’ in the young person’s life, distinct from the professionals paid to support them. They might take the young person to the cinema or to the park, encourage them to try a new sport or hobby, support them at meetings or simply be there to talk to. It makes a real difference to a young person to know they have someone who is on their side, who has chosen to be there for them.

In Stafford, Sova also provide a trained Independent Person for Secure Accommodation Reviews who advocate on behalf of the child, ensuring their wishes and feelings are given due consideration by the local authority. The Sova Independent person will also be a member of the secure criteria review panel who decides whether the criteria for a young person remaining in secure accommodation is met.

Sova also provide UASC Age Assessments supporting the Central Through Care Team by providing an Independent person for age assessments for Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers.

Sova provide this service for those person/s who have no responsible adult to care for them are separated or 'unaccompanied', and are therefore 'in need'

I have been with my independent visitor for 5 years now and I wouldn’t be without them

This project is funded by: