By Michael Feeley | Founder and chief exec

Chapter

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The Drum Network article

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September 19, 2017 | 2 min read

Children’s charity Barnardo’s and the National Independent Visitor Network have launched a social video campaign to help more young people in foster care find inspiring adult mentors.

Independent Visitors – or IVs – are volunteers matched with young people in care to build and provide a positive, trusting and consistent relationship outside of the usual care system environment.

The charities turned to creative agency Chapter to design the campaign, who secured rising spoken word artist and social media star Nego True to produce a film that speaks directly to young people, encouraging them to ask their social worker for an Independent Visitor.

The film, ‘A Friend by Nature’, was launched at an event at the Soho Theatre in Dean Street, with a live performance by Nego in front of an audience of young people and IVs, and performances and talks by young people themselves.

Narin Cakir, team manager at the National IV Network, said: “We created the film after young people told us they wanted to be communicated to in a new way, and they were involved throughout the whole process. I hope people share this film and help us spread the message that every child should have the opportunity to develop a meaningful and rewarding connection with an adult who shares their interests.”

Alastair Marchant, Chapter head and an IV for over 4 years, added: “I’ve seen first-hand the difference an IV can make to a young person’s life, which is why the agency and I are immensely proud to be working with Barnardo’s to promote the National Independent Visitor Network. The scheme is incredibly under-resourced and not widely known, so raising awareness is key to getting young people their own IV, who can be a positive role model and friend for life.”

Although all children in foster care may be legally entitled to an Independent Visitor, research has shown that only three in 100 children in care in England and Wales are currently matched with an IV, and local services are often under-resourced or simply unavailable.

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