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Independent visitor scheme

Independent visitors (IVs) are adult volunteers who provide independent, one-to-one befriending support to children in care. Their role is to "visit, advise and befriend" the young person with whom they are matched.

The 1989 Children Act made it a duty for Local Authorities to provide IVs for those young people living in care who have little or no contact from their parents or family. In 2008, the Children and Young Person's Act extended this duty so that any young person in care could be eligible to have an IV, if considered to be in their best interests.