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If social workers think that a looked after child will benefit from it, then they have a duty to appoint someone to become the child’s ‘independent visitor’. This person must have no connection with the local authority.
Most independent visitors are likely to be locally recruited volunteers. Their role will be to:
- Make friends with the child and establish a trusting relationship.
- Promote the child’s educational, social and emotional development.
- To encourage the child to play an active role in decisions that affect them.
- Offer practical advice and support on a range of issues.
Examples of when an independent visitor might be appointed include:
- A child who does not get many visits from or contact with members of their family
- A child who is placed a long way from their home area
- A child who is unable to go out independently.