Policy for Independent Reviewing Officers (IRO) Visits to Looked After Children

1. Introduction

The IRO Handbook, states

"It is important for the IRO to develop a consistent relationship with the child, this should not undermine or replace the relationship between the social worker and the child." (1.22) P8

Often the most consistent person in the professional network responsible for meeting a looked after child's needs is the IRO. The role requires that the IRO has an oversight of the planning for the child or young person and is also required to speak with the child in private prior to the first review and before every subsequent review regulation 36.

This should provide the IRO with an opportunity to discuss with the child matters to be considered at their review and for the child to raise any issues. The first review will be important and may set the tone for the longer-term relationship that will develop between the child and IRO.

It is important that IROs complete and record individual visits to looked after children as a requirement of their practice.

All details of visits to looked after children by IROs should be recorded in Observations. This should include for example the purpose of the visit, who was present and what was discussed. Once the visit has been completed the IRO should complete an activity on Liquid Logic.

There are some looked after children who are considered to be particularly vulnerable and consequently it is a priority that IROs arrange to visit and speak to these children and young people separately.

The following list provides a guide to the children and young people for whom the IROs must prioritise to schedule a visit. This is not an exhaustive list and IROs must use their discretion to include any other child or young person whose circumstances would mean they are vulnerable and therefore become a priority.

2. Priority List

  • Children first received into local authority care;
  • Children Placed outside of Kirklees;
  • Children and Young People in secure accommodation;
  • Children and young people at risk of sexual exploitation;
  • Children who have experienced multiple placement breakdowns;
  • Children who experience a long term placement breakdown;
  • Children who experience an Adoption breakdown;
  • Children with communication difficulties.

Data integrity reports will be available to evidence the performance of the CPRU in relation to quality performance in this area of good practice standards and will be received every quarter to monitor and evidence visits to Looked After Children by the Independent Reviewing Officers.