Creative Communication – IRO Tips and Tools for practice

IRO Toolkit

Creativity is a vital part of the IRO skillset. Through creative and imaginative play and interaction with children, IROs can use the review process to encourage children’s grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, and even physically.

Coming up with ways to play creatively doesn’t have to be stressful or take a lot of time. In fact, over-structuring is the opposite of creative play.

Our toolkit consists of a number of activities to use with children and young people – to explore how they might be feeling and what has happened to them since their last review meeting.

Many of the activities involve the IRO playing alongside the child – allowing opportunity for the child/IRO relationship to develop.

Some of the activities are for use with older children – intention being to explore how the child  or young person is feeling about themselves and their future. It’s hoped that the activities will also help planning and thinking about what the child or young person wants to talk about at their review.

The Toolkit consists of activities for children and young people across a range of developmental stages. Intention is that the tools are used flexibly in accordance with the child’s specific needs.

Idea is for the Toolkit to be used creatively as a ‘pick and mix’ of work sheets and games. Activities can be used as a developing piece of work to be revisited, revised and updated with the child or young person ahead of each review or as one-off activities as part of an individual meeting with the child or as part of the review meeting.

Please use the tools flexibly in accordance with the child’s wishes and circumstances – building on, varying and adapting them as part of a bespoke approach to the child’s needs.

We aim to add more tools for use over time so do share feedback, thoughts and ideas.

♦ Tool: My Best Hopes

To help children and young people identify what they want from planning and review – what they want to focus on.

Download guidance & tools: Me and My World – My best hopes

♦ Tool: My Tree of Life

Helping to strengthen child’s relationship with their history, culture and significant relationships.

Download guidance & tools: My Tree of Life

♦ Tool: My River of Life

Helping the child reflect on their personal experiences and influences and what they would like to change in the future. In subsequent reviews can help promote an understanding of the child’s history, adding to the river over several reviews to explore significant life events and what may have changed since the last review.

Download guidance & tools: The River of Life | Me and My World – River of Life Activity Stickers

♦ Tool: My Three Houses

Benefits of using this tool

Invites the child and their network to pay attention to what’s going well and hopes for the future.

Download guidance and tools.  Including youtube: Me and My Review – My three houses

♦ Tool: Certificates or Thank you cards

Celebrating achievements at the end of every review (or be included as the main activity within it). Modelling positive feedback and praise – giving and receiving.

Download: Thank you card

♦ Tool: My Strengths

Support the child/young person to think about some of the actions/changes that they have made that they feel have been positive for them. Encourage them to link this with the good things/qualities they see in themselves.

Download worksheets: Me and My World Review – My Strengths 

♦ Tool: Growing Happy Feelings

Encourage the child/young person to imagine that they can grow happy feelings just like they can grow a flower – what helps them to be at their best.

Download worksheet: Me and My World Review – Growing Happy Feelings

Tools FROM NIROMP – free to download.

Using creative communication as a trauma informed response to care planning and review:

activity books to help children contribute to their review

A range of colourful review planning tools free from NIROMP. Free for you to download:

A4 size Pink Me & My World Review Planner (A4) – Pink 

A4 size Blue Copy of Me & My World Review Planner

Album size Pink: Me and My World Review Activity Book-3 

Red:Me and My World Review Activity Book – Red version-7

Activity stickers: Me and My World – Stickers 

Me and My World – My note-its  

Me and My World – River of Life Activity Stickers 

Emotions Emoji’s & labels 

Big Emotions labels via www.childhood101

my tree of life

My feelings

raising ambitions & goal setting

celebrating achievements

appreciating each other

river of life

my support

my strengths cards


more Free Social Work Tools and Resources: