The partnership formed originally in 2004 as a ‘working group’ made up of IRO Managers who were representatives from the Government regional areas across England, to work with the Department for Education (DfE) on ‘IRO guidance’ for The Adoption and Children Act 2002. With our advice, the roles and responsibilities of the Independent Reviewing Services became embedded within the framework of the IRO Handbook, linked to revised statutory Care Planning Regulations and Guidance which was introduced in April 2011.
The managers group continues to work directly with government, acting as advisors in relation to guidance, policy and practice; and sharing regional and national information in relation to care planning and outcomes for children and young people in care and care leavers.
The partnership meets in London four times a year, and we are grateful to the DfE for hosting our meetings.
Each region has a well organised programme of regional meetings / events with clear lines of reporting to an elected Chair and Vice Chair. Elected Chairs represent their region at national level.
The partnership also now has a number of practice leads with the aim to:
- Bring extra capacity to help the partnership and its members stay ahead of good practice, to be responsive to policy updates, consultation exercises and research projects
- To keep members up to date with developments and service issues
- To provide leadership of task and finish groups which can be called on for specific support by DfE, local authorities and other key stakeholders, as required.
More about the work of the regions: Contact Us
More about the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO): here
National & Regional updates here
Key guidance: Independent reviewing officers’ handbook
Young persons version of key guidance: Young People’s Guide to the Independent Reviewing Officers’ Handbook
Facilitating an effective IRO service: Local authority responsibilities
Independent Reviewing Officers: Strategic Briefing (2015)
Workforce development – our pledge
- The partnership will support cooperation between managers across the country in order to drive strategic improvements of local authority Independent Review Officers function as defined by legislation, regulation and guidance.
- Improve knowledge of the contribution of the IRO role to effective care planning and placement stability.
- Share information on caseloads and other duties to support statutory responsibilities to manage IROs caseloads effectively
- Identify common training needs and support how these can best be met.
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