Independent Reviews of Children and Young People Looked After
In 2004 the Government issued new regulations setting out the duties in reviewing the plans of young people looked after by the Local Authority.
All young people who are in the care of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council are required to have clear plans about their care, education, health, and contact with their family. It is the duty of the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) to carry out all these reviews. There are set timescales for this to take place (within 28 days of coming into care, 3 months after that, and not less than 6 monthly thereafter). They chair all these meetings, ensuring that all views are collected, encourage the young person to contribute to their meeting, and make a decision as to whether the plan is able to meet the young persons assessed need.
The IRO is employed by the Local Authority, but is independent in that they do not get involved in any management decisions regarding the plans for the young person. They do, however, have a role in sorting out any disputes the young person may have around their care, and this may include speaking to social workers, foster-carers and senior managers in the Council. The IRO, therefore, is given the responsibility to ensure care plans are appropriate and reasonable for the needs of the young person and that care plans are progressed within a reasonable timescale.
Every child who becomes looked after by the Local Authority will be given the details of how to contact their IRO directly.