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Independent visiting with children in care during the pandemic: disruptions and discoveries

Jones, Rebecca K. and Westlake, David ORCID: 2021. Independent visiting with children in care during the pandemic: disruptions and discoveries. Qualitative Social Work 20 (1-2) , pp. 383-389. 10.1177/1473325020981087

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This essay describes the impact of the pandemic on our experiences as Independent Visitors (IVs) forchildren who are looked-after. Independent Visitors are volunteers who visit, advise and befriend children with the aim of helping them develop a positive, long-term relationship beyond the care system. Based on our personal experiences of being matched with and visiting two young people, we consider how supporting the children remotely during the pandemic has helped us reflect on our relationships with them and our role as IVs. We discuss the role that foster carers play in supporting the IV relationship, the significance of developing routines and rituals with young people, and the challenges and opportunities offered by the transition from visits to virtual contact. We conclude with an outline of the response of service providers to the pandemic, and suggest that increased support for Independent Visiting might improve provision and allow more children to benefit from a relationship with an Independent Visitor.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1473-3250
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 August 2021
Date of Acceptance: 4 March 2021
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 18:58

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