Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs)
Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) are people who work separately from social workers and all other professionals that looked-after children and their families have contact with.
They have a legal responsibility to monitor what the social workers do and make sure that they properly assess the looked-after child or young person's needs, get their views and make sensible plans for their future.
How do they do this?
- Make sure looked-after children have a copy of their “Care Plan” which sets out in writing where the child will live and how their needs will be met. They ensure the child’s views have been sought and considered and that the Care Plan makes sense.
- Make sure people involved with the child do what they say they will do without delay.
- Keep in touch with looked-after children in between reviews, which are small meetings where checks are made on the Care Plan, and make decisions to help move things on. Contact with the child or young person can be by meeting up, talking over the phone, text or email.
- Check that the Social Worker has prepared for the reviews by talking to the looked-after child about where the meeting should be, who should come, what time it should start etc.
- Read all reports and contribution booklets before reviews.
- Ask the looked-after child if they would like to chair/part-chair their review.
- Make sure that the looked-after child has contact with family and friends.
- Check that plans for the future are clear and agreed.
- Make sure the looked-after child knows about their legal rights, how to make complaints, having an advocate etc.
- Complete and send the looked-after child a list of review decisions within a week of the review meeting and the whole review report within one month of the review.