Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Young people want IRO role removed from council control

Young people with experience of care have backed calls for independent reviewing officers to be taken out of council control.

A consultation event organised by the Who Cares? Trust found overwhelming support for the next government to enact a so-called sunset clause to the Children and Young Person’s Act 2008, which would see the role taken out of council control and instead be overseen by a new organisation.

The next government has until November this year to make the change before the ability to trigger the clause expires.

The National Association of Independent Reviewing Officers (Nairo) last month polled its members on whether they want to remain under local authority control or not, but is yet to reveal the results.
IROs are responsible for chairing reviews for children living in children’s homes or foster care, but the fact they are based within the local authorities they are supposed to hold to account has led many to question precisely how independent they can be.

The group of 13 young people, a mix of children currently in care and care leavers, who took part in the Who Cares? Trust consultation event, favoured removing them from council control.

Care leavers were highly critical of the effectiveness of IROs in their present form under council control, arguing it is difficult for IROs to be truly independent while working for a council.

They added that IROs did not meet them enough and were poor at explaining their role in supporting young people in care.

There was also concern that young people rarely saw any evidence their concerns had been followed up by IROs and they called for a stronger role for young people in reviews as well as training for the profession.

Natasha Finlayson, chief executive of the Who Cares? Trust, said: “The results of the consultation we ran with young people about IROs reflected what young people in care have long told us, which is that many don’t know what an IRO is or who theirs is.

“Where they do know, they often report that their IRO has not helped to secure or change decisions in the child’s best interests.

“Young people need more consistent quality in the effectiveness and determination of IROs, who should be fearless champions for children.”

Nairo has said that it would like to take part in a further consultation with care leavers on their views about IROs and is hoping to involve their input at their annual conference in October.

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Government launches tackling violence against women and girls strategy

22/07/2021

A new government strategy to ensure women and girls are safe everywhere has been launched by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The strategy sets out a clear ambition to increase support for victims and survivors, increase the number of perpetrators brought to justice and to reduce the prevalence of violence against women and girls in the [...]

Read Full Story

Spending on early help services halves in decade

21/07/2021

Spending on early intervention for services has halved over the last 10 years, charities have warned.

Between 2010 and 2020, local authorities in England reduced spending on early intervention services from £3.6bn to £1.8bn, analysis of council budgets by a group of leading children’s charities has revealed.

The most deprived local authorities in the UK reduced early [...]

Read Full Story

Cafcass introduces revised working arrangements following rise in private law cases

21/07/2021

Cafcass has introduced some revised arrangements for managing unsustainable caseloads.

The process has been implemented in the Cafcass areas covering Birmingham, the Black Country, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Herefordshire family courts due to unsustainable pressures on the family justice system in the area.

Cafcass Chief Executive, Jacky Tiotto said: “I have said publicly before that any [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram