Last updated:
5 October 2017

Independent young person supporter

Support young people, up to the age of 25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities.

The West Sussex SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (WS SEND IAS) has a small number of independent young person supporters (IYPSs). These are are trained to support young people up to the age of 25 with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). The support includes attending meetings with young people or helping them to put their views in writing.

How to apply

You can apply using our online form.

Apply online

Role description

Skills required

  • Reliability and trustworthiness
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Good listening and communication skills
  • Basic knowledge of the SEND system and/or willingness to learn
  • Empathy with a young person with special needs and/or disabilities
  • The ability to be impartial and confidential
  • Commitment to the task
  • Being calm, clear and considered

Ideal volunteer

  • Will participate in initial and ongoing training and regular supervision
  • Will follow guidance and work within the agreed expectations of the role
  • Lives in or very near West Sussex
  • Drives and has access to a car (this is desirable, rather than essential)

Details of duties

  • Listening to what a young person has to say
  • Helping a young person understand the statutory assessment process
  • Helping a young person to write letters and reports
  • Finding out information for a young person
  • Helping a young person read through and make sense of official documents
  • Helping a young person prepare for meetings
  • Going on school/college visits and attending school/college meetings with a young person
  • Taking notes of meetings
  • Helping a young person think about options and talk through decisions

Regularity of duties

The main times we need volunteers for are Monday-Friday during school term. There are no set hours each week as our work is sporadic, so it is an ideal role for someone that cannot commit to a fixed set of hours a week.

Guidance and support

This is a responsible role and we will ensure you are supported with:

  • travel expenses and out-of-pocket expenses
  • opportunities to enhance your communication and negotiation skills
  • 1:1 support as needed

Induction and training

  • Initial induction training
  • Ongoing training and support, including regular meetings with other IYPSs

Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS)

Volunteers will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS check due to lone working with young people.


Volunteers will be required to provide two references prior to undertaking the role. These should be two people who are not related to you, but who you have known for three years in a personal, academic, work or voluntary capacity. One of these should be in a professional capacity, for example, academic or employment.

Other Information

A SEND IAS Service volunteer identification card is provided for use when volunteering and all out-of-pocket travel expenses may be claimed.


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