Independent Reviewing Officers (IRO)

Your IRO is really important.  They are the person who runs your review meetings, checks your case and makes sure your social worker and the local authority is doing what they should and that your placement is right for you.

Your review meeting

Your review meeting is about you and your time in care, and is a very important meeting.  Your care plan will be checked to make sure that it is still right for you, and any changes made if necessary.

You will have your first review meeting when you have been looked after for one month.  Your next review meeting will be approximately 3 months after – After that we will hold review meetings every six months for as long as you are in care.

You can go to these meetings and make comments if you want (Remember; These meetings are about you and your life! Your involvement and how much you participate is up to you).

If you cannot make your review or do not want to go, let your social worker know and the IRO will arrange to see you at your placement or at the Children’s Service office.

Your social worker will explain to you what the review meeting is going to be about and tell you who else will be there and why.

Let your social worker know if there is anyone else you would like to invite.

Your IRO should talk to you by yourself before every review meeting to make sure you’re happy and to check how things are going.

At your review meeting your IRO is the main person who leads the meeting.

Your IRO will make sure you get a copy of everything that was talked about at the review.  Two weeks after the meeting you should get a written record of all the decisions that were made.

Other important information about YOUR Review:

  • Reviews should be held at a place where you will feel comfortable.  You should be asked about where you would like the review to be held.
  • The review meeting should take place at a time and date to suit you.  You should ask for a review to be held after school.
  • You can contact your IRO at any time – not just before and after review meetings.
  • After a while, some young people run their own review meetings.  If you would like to do this you should speak to your IRO.

Support

If you’re upset about something that’s going wrong while in care, your IRO must tell you how to make a complaint, explain what advocacy is and how you can get an advocate.  They can even help you get advice from lawyers and other support networks if the problem is serious.

Did you know?

You should have:

  • an IRO within seven days of being in care.
  • the same IRO throughout your journey in care – even if you leave and come back.
  • the same IRO as your brothers and sisters – even if they are in different placements.
  • If your IRO leaves their job (it happens) they should introduce you to your new IRO before they leave.

Menu of choice

Your Social Worker and/or Reviewing Officer, should speak to you about the ‘Menu of Choice’, and about how you would like to participate in YOUR Review. (It also lets you know what your rights are regarding your Review).

Skittlz, our Children in Care Council, devised the document as a tool to help Reviews and the discussions that take place to be more meaningful, as many young people tell us that they tend to say very little or nothing during their Reviews as they find the meetings daunting.