Over 80% of Community Care readers vote to keep the IRO role with 49% voting for IROs to be employed outside local authorities.
The National Independent Reviewing Officer Managers Partnership is committed to improving the practice that impacts on the lives of children and families. Critical analyses provided by the independent children’s social care review, has brought welcome learning but also a challenge from IRO’s, the reviews proposals for reform must be judged in the context, circumstances, and political climate in which the research was conducted and written.
By Sharon Martin on July 7th, 2022
As, NIROMP Chair, I recognise that:
“IROs have a crucial role to play in making sure all professionals recognise and listen to children’s voices and uphold their rights and entitlements. Reflecting on these principles we welcome recognition of the value the independent reviewing officer brings to children in care and care leavers.
“NIROMP is supportive of and has always welcomed the freedom to try different and new ways of doing things.
“We have avoided any binary position, particularly related to the Independent Reviewing Officers role. To be clear though, NIROMP does not support the dilution of any policies or legislation that would see an erosion or removal of any child’s rights or the abolition of the IRO role “If there is genuine commitment to raising standards for children in local authority care, then the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer, a role that
was specifically introduced in 2000 as part of the Children Act 1989 as a safeguard for children in care, should be supported, strengthened and developed”.
“The problems facing children’s social care in England will not be solved by the removal of the independent reviewing officer role for children in care, nor the IRO role improved through situating them outside of the Local Authority.
“We should not allow continued debates about the value and position of the independent reviewing officer function to distract from the more pressing problems arising from austerity and the cost-of-living crisis.
The NIROMP Leadership Network:
“Our message is strongly focused on the importance of relational, strengths-based working within our local authority and community networks and collaboratively across government departments.
“NIROMP’s leadership will continue to tackle, collectively, across the nine government area regions of England, to mobilise the wraparound support for children and families to enable them to thrive, not just survive.
“It is our collective view that reforms can and should be made within the existing legislative infrastructure that underpins our combined duties and responsibilities for the universal safeguarding and wellbeing of every child.
“The independent reviewing officer role for children in care is valued by children and families and should remain within the Local Authority.
“If there is genuine commitment to raising standards for children in local authority care, then the role of the IRO, a role that was specifically introduced as a safeguard for children in care, should be supported, strengthened, and developed. The concern still is that children in care should be afforded equality and continuity, regardless of where they are placed in the country and irrespective of their race, ethnicity or where they have come from.
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