About the partnership


The partnership helps bring about improvements in legislation, policy and practice by ensuring the interests and experiences of children in care and young care leavers are known at the highest level. We have a role in contributing to government consultations on policy matters to improve practice, help make the care system better, and for ensuring that IROs are kept informed of workforce developments including research and training.

About our members

The partnership is represented by a group of elected senior managers who represent IRO services and the work of their regions across England. Meetings of this group are held quarterly and include two elected representatives from each of the nine regions within England. 

The aims of the partnership are to:

  • Jointly work to achieve consistently high standards throughout IRO services; to drive forward excellent outcomes for children and young people in care.
  • Evidence the impact of the IRO service on outcomes for children and young people in care.
  • Build on opportunities for regional collaboration in order to develop and improve practice with support of the regional leads.

And we have the following objectives to:

  • Model high aspirations and best practice.
  • Identify and overcome barriers which might inhibit best practice.
  • Influence national and regional policy development.
  • Identify and participate in Task and Finish activities on behalf of this group.
  • Share information about regional and national resources or services which could improve the life experience of children in care.
  • Contribute towards, promote and distribute news and information.
  • Undertake and respond to research and consultations.
  • Promote and contribute to professional development.

Work plan priorities for 2015/16

The national IRO Manager partnership are focusing on the following work plan priorities as part of this commitment to promote excellence across IRO services:

  • Develop strong stakeholder partnerships and build on the collaborative work undertaken to date.
  • Drive up improvements to permanence.
  • Increased consultation and involvement of children and young people.
  • To establish a IRO performance benchmark data set to inform both regional and national understanding of IRO service performance.
  • To contribute to sector led improvements.
  • Revision of the IRO Handbook in collaboration with key partners.
  • Workforce development via national and regional conferences and increasing use of social media.
  • To map and evaluate service requirements in the context of public sector and social work reform.
  • Reviewing the annual IRO report template.
  • Development of good practice standards.
  • Development of guidance  local dispute resolution processes.
  • Development of Transitions guidance
  • Development of a capabilities framework to support performance management, learning and continuous improvement.

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