Welcome to the Eastern Region update

Regional updates will be posted on this page including summary updates from regional meetings. The expectation is for each local authority to have IRO representation at each meeting. Failing this, our members should share an update via the template provided by the chairs.

The Region

Bedford Borough | Cambridgeshire | Central Bedfordshire
Essex | Hertfordshire | Luton | Norfolk
Peterborough | Southend-on-Sea | Suffolk | Thurrock

Regional Leads / Chairs for the Eastern Region

Kim Burrowes   Kim.Burrowes@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Sharon Keenan sharon.keenan@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Terms of Reference

These are available for members on request.

Regional Update

The Eastern Region has 11 authorities made up of six unitary authorities and five county councils.

Upcoming Events

17th July 2015              Regional IRO Managers Meeting

7th August 2015          Regional IRO Meeting

25th September 2015   Regional IRO Managers Meeting

4th December 2015      Regional IRO Managers Meeting

Regional IRO Managers Group: This group has representation from all 11 Local Authorities in the Eastern Region. The Group has number of new members but it is well attended group who share practice developments and updates from National and Regional meetings.

An Eastern Region IRO’s Group is being set up with the leads coming from Peterborough & Norfolk and the first meeting is taking place in Peterborough early August 2015.

Regional IRO Managers Group Work Plan

The Regional IRO Managers Group has been working over the last year on a range of priorities identified at regional and national groups:

The group has benefitted from national feedback and on the back of the success of the West Midlands has undertook a separate negotiation with Birmingham University and 6 day training course for IRO and CP chairs. This has been booked for 26 people, 10 of the 11 authorities have sent representatives to the training. The training is taking place in December 2015 and February 2016.

The group have a keen interest in understanding the looked after children and child protection numbers and how each authority meets demands on IRO services. Other discussions have looked at early intervention and how we manage S20s when trying to achieve permanency. The use of CIN chairs in one authority has prompted discussions across the region. This is helpful in sharing good practice and maintaining and improving standards across the region. We can readily evidence how IRO caseload numbers impact on our performance.

Good practice is shared and links with other regional groups are established, for example through the Eastern Safeguarding Project with the corporate parenting regional steering group and Quality Assurance regional group. We use quarterly reports from the Regions on a range of national indicators to consider the contribution of IRO services to national performance indicators and this supports us to look at how we evidence our impact and what we can learn from each other. We are therefore working to increase our links with other regional groups and partners so we can share work plans and agree priorities and have an effective IRO voice regionally.

We have tentatively started to look at the arrangements children looked after by our 11 Local Authorities who are placed out of their authority but within the Eastern Region to consider the implications for the care plans i.e. PEPS and Health assessments and what participation groups the children can expect from each other.

We have looked at the implications of the updated care planning regulations and shared actions we are taking with our own authorities. Thurrock shared a postcard they have developed which is given to young people with their IRO contact details, which can be directly sent to IRO at any time. Within this postcard a young person can ask the IRO to contact them by phone, text, email or letter whatever their preferred method is and highlight what their concerns maybe. The IROs then commit to respond to the young person immediately.

Inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers and Review of the effectiveness of the Local Safeguarding Children Board

Hertfordshire County Council | Inspection date: 11 September 2015 – 8 October 2015 Report published: 27 November 2015

Contact Us

For more information please submit your query and contact details below to Sue or Maureen.


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