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Independent reviewing officer service

Independent Reviewing Officer Service

The Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) service is part of the Quality Assurance Service.  

IROs and Child Protection Chairs carry out statutory reviews for children who are in care and those who are subject of a child protection plan. The service is responsible for promoting and developing high standards in the review process through quality assurance and monitoring of children’s services and partner agencies.

  • Independent reviewing officers and child protection chairs are very experienced social workers whose role is to oversee care and child protection plans for children and young people ensuring that all plans for children are progressed in a timely way without undue drift and delay and that the child/young person’s voice is heard throughout the process.
  • Independent reviewing officers/child protection chairs act as strong advocates and support for all children in care so that their voices are at the centre of the planning and review process. IROs and child protection chairs ensure that all children are made aware of the role of the independent advocate and their entitlements to one and can, if requested by a child or young person, make a referral to the advocacy service on their behalf.
  • Independent Reviewing Officers have their own set of guidance (IRO Handbook) which places responsibility and expectations on all IRO’s to act as strong advocates for children and to hold to account agencies who are not providing appropriate services to a child or young person. IRO’s have a duty to provide challenge to the local authority to ensure that all decisions made about children are in their best interest.
  • An IRO and child protection chair are well placed to assess the quality and effectiveness of the local authority’s care planning and support for children. They play a crucial role to ensure the local authority fulfils its role to children as Corporate Parents for all children it looks after.
  • The service works collaboratively with children and young people whose feedback helps us to shape and improve practice and service delivery.