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Unpaid role, expenses paid

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Job description

Independent Visitors - Shropshire

Voluntary – a few hours per month

Information to candidates

We are seeking candidates who are committed to our objectives for children and young people and equally committed to the organisation and the development of our services. We recognise we are a predominantly white workforce and are genuinely committed to encouraging candidates from diverse communities in order to improve the services to the children and young people we help.

Our Core Purpose

Coram Voice exists to enable and equip children and young people* to hold the system to account, to challenge and support it to do its job properly and to uphold the rights of children and young people to actively participate in shaping their own lives.

Our vision

Coram Voice strives for a society which recognises and willingly accepts its responsibilities to children and young people, where the inequalities and discrimination they currently face have been eradicated. Where those children and young people are fully engaged in all decisions that are made about their lives. Where the views, needs and feelings that they express are at the core of those decisions.

Our Values

  • We are child driven, always asking what children would want us to do. By engaging them at all levels of our work, their views and experiences are central to shaping all our plans. We are tenacious and passionate champions of children’s rights and we will not be distracted in our determination to do the right thing for children and young people.
  • Second only to our dedication to children is our dedication to each other. Our work is defined and inspired by meaningful, supportive, mutually empowering relationships with and between children and young people, colleagues and partners. These relationships are powerful because they are authentic and human, where every contribution is equally valued and respected.
  • We create a friendly and supportive working environment where work can and should be fun. We recognise that happy people perform at their best, and that people performing at their best are happier in their work. We celebrate our successes together and are open about our concerns and mistakes, supporting each other to grow and learn from them. We work flexibly, supporting each other in times of high workload or when life gets difficult.
  • We accept personal responsibility for our work and we are accountable for delivering results against those responsibilities. Managers empower their people to take ownership of and make decisions on their areas of responsibility, ensuring that workload is manageable, that people are treated fairly, that they are supported and challenged to succeed. Everyone at Coram Voice is committed to modelling and championing these values, and managers have a particular responsibility for bringing them to life.

*We work with and for a range of children and young people who are potentially vulnerable to harm or exclusion from society, and who have a particular reliance on the state or its agencies for their rights and wellbeing, including children and young people who are looked after by the state, in need or who have severe and complex mental health problems, care leavers and young offenders. This is not an exclusive list.

Our work

Coram Voice is a national independent children’s charity which was established in 1975 and has grown to become one of the leading agencies for children and young people in the UK. Around 60 employed staff, 100 freelance workers and 200 volunteers deliver services to children and agencies through our London headquarters and regional offices. Together they provide Coram Voice with a high degree of specialist expertise in the fields of advocacy, children’s rights, mental health, complaints, secure accommodation and experience of working with children in care, in custody, in need and those who have recently left care.

We provide:

  • Advocacy services direct to children and young people in care, in need, in custody and to care leavers and children and young people with severe and complex mental health problems. Advocates around the country support children and young people to get their voice heard in decisions about their lives. This may be through the telephone helpline or through an advocate working directly with a child, for instance, to support them at a review meeting or to help them make a complaint about their care. Coram Voice provides visiting advocacy services to most of the secure units nationally, to Secure Training Centres, Juvenile Young Offender Institutions, psychiatric hospitals, residential special schools and children’s homes.
  • A National Helpline to provide access for children and young people to advocacy and advice, with access to legal advice and links with other national helplines such as ChildLine.
  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) to advocate for young people as qualifying patients under the Mental Health Act, in order to fully support them to get their views heard in matters relating to their mental health.
  • Independent visitors services providing volunteer befrienders to children and young people in care.
  • Independent services: Coram Voice is a major national provider of independent person services for complaints by children and for reviewing whether children should be locked up in secure units on welfare grounds.
  • Policy and campaigning to create a better system for all children and young people looked after by the state, for their care to be more child-centred and to give young people a greater say in decisions about their lives.
    • Participation services to ensure children and young people have a voice in the development and delivery of services and campaigns, and through the process, provide the opportunity to develop relevant skills which will be of benefit to them in their future lives.
    • Training, development and information for young people, advocates and child care workers, offering courses in advocacy, children’s rights and child-centred practice across a range of areas including the new National Advocacy Qualification.

About the Independent Visitor Service

What is an Independent Visitor?

An Independent Visitor (also known as an IV) is a responsible adult volunteer who befriends and supports a child or young person looked after by a local authority and has little or no contact with his/her parents. The children or young people may need additional support particularly as they are likely to be living in children’s homes, foster homes or independently.

What does an IV do?

An IV will be expected to visit the child/young person they are matched with regularly to demonstrate commitment to them. This could include visiting them at their home, trips out for example to football, sharing the young person’s interests or hobbies or specific activity. During term time most visits will be in the evening or at weekends. An IV can encourage a child/young person to participate in the meetings held to review his/her care plan and therefore be part of the decision making process about his/her life. The IV may also be asked by the child/ young person to speak at the meeting on his/her behalf in order to make his/her wishes, views and feelings known.

General considerations

· Please note that people employed by a local authority cannot work for Coram Voice in the same authority unless the LA gives agreement and the employee does not work in Children’s Services.

· All posts are subjected to an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service check and successful candidates will not be able to work unsupervised with children or young people until the completion of this process.

· All Coram Voice workers are required to comply with Coram Voice Codes of Practice and Code of Ethics

General consideration for applications:

  • DBS checks All volunteers are subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring check.
  • Training All successful candidates are required to complete our compulsory training programme which includes induction training and E learning courses on Safeguarding and Diversity, GDPR etc
    • Conflict of interest The independence of the service is important to Coram Voice. Prospective applicants need to raise any other potential conflicts of interest when initially contacting Coram Voice about this post.

The recruitment process:

  • Shortlisting will be undertaken by the IV Coordinators.
  • You will have a face to face or virtual home visit.
  • The interview process comprises of a panel interview. Successful candidates will have a further one to one interview in accordance within Warner recommendations.
  • Returning your application: We cannot accept general CVs.
  • Applications must be fully completed.

Please return your application to: Human Resources via Blue Octopus.

If you have the necessary experience, attitudes and skills and a commitment to protecting the rights of young people we would like to hear from you.

Coram Voice is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. We actively encourage applicants from Asian, African, Caribbean and other minority ethnic backgrounds to join our teams. Whilst we have a diverse team we recognise we are a predominantly white workforce and are genuinely committed to encouraging candidates from diverse communities in order to improve the services to the children and families we help.

We are committed to the safeguarding of children and where appropriate will require the successful applicant to undertake a check from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

Registered Charity No. 312278

More about Coram

Coram has been helping vulnerable children since 1739. Today, as we prepare for the 350th anniversary of the birth of our founder, Thomas Coram...

Read more

Refreshed on: 22 October 2023
Closing date: 06 December 2023 at 23:59
Tags: Advocacy,Volunteer Management

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