NYAS – advocate and independent visitor support

NYAS stands for National Youth Advocacy Service. Find out more below.

National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) is an independent organisation for children and young people. It is not part of the Local Authority. NYAS can provide Advocates and Independent Visitors for children and young people in care.


An advocate is an independent person who can make sure that your voice is listened to when decisions are being made about you. They can attend meetings with you or on your behalf, to represent and support you if you have any issues relating to your care that you are not happy with. This could be about moving to a different home or seeing your family.

You can contact NYAS yourself by calling their helpline on 0808 808 1001 or by visiting their website. You can also ask any adult working with you to contact NYAS for you.

Independent visitors

If you live in a foster home or a residential home and don’t often see your family, you may be able to have an Independent Visitor (IV). IVs are volunteers of any age over 18. They are people from all backgrounds and have many different interests and hobbies. They will be there for you just like a special long-term friend and will visit about once a month, taking you out to do fun activities.

You can ask your Social Worker to apply to NYAS for an Independent Visitor for you. There is sometimes a wait while they look for the right person for you. You will have a choice to meet the IV and decide if they are right for you.

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