THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT REVIEWING OFFICERS
Chair, Maggie Duggins
Vice Chair, Zoe Martin
Vice Chair, Jon Fayle
IROs Vote to Stay Within Local Authorities
NAIRO has conducted a survey of its members views about the best location of the IRO service. Some people believe the independence of the IRO is compromised by being located within and employed by Local Authorities. Others believe that IROs can be most effective and influential from within Local Authorities. The results of the survey were collated in June 2015 and are summarised below.
Of the 56 NAIRO members who responded:
- 72%, thought IROs services were best placed within local authority management.
- However 91%, thought there needed to be measures put in place to strengthen the independence of IROs within Local authorities.
- There was nothing in the responses which discouraged the piloting of other innovative models of provision of the service within the local authority ambit.
- A number of other issues were identified which NAIRO members thought would enhance the effectiveness of IROs. These included caseloads, access to independent legal advice, and training/support for IROs
Maggie Duggins the Chair of NAIRO said
“We believe IRO services are best placed within local authorities, and we will not campaign for the removal of IRO services from local authorities.
However, we think that urgent and robust measures should be taken to enhance the genuine independence of IROs within local authorities.
We will also encourage and support the development and piloting of different models for provision of IRO services within local authorities which may enhance their independence and effectiveness.
We continue to press for action on a number of other issues, including
- reasonable workloads for IROs, consistent with statutory guidance
- the availability of independent legal advice for IROs
- better training and support for IROs within Local Authorities
NAIRO is passionately committed to doing all it can to enhance the welfare and improve the outcomes for children in care”
Notes for Editors
Independent Reviewing Officers
An Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) is a qualified social worker who has a responsibility to review the cases of children in care at regular intervals. A key element of the role is to scrutinise the local authority care plan for the child, in particular taking into account the child’s wishes and feelings, and being mindful of the child’s rights. If the IRO believes the LA plan is not in the best interests of the child, she/he has the duty to challenge the local authority to whatever level is necessary to resolve the matter.
NAIRO was founded in March 2009. It is the only national professional organisation for IROs in the country. We have a fast growing membership from England, Wales, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.
NAIRO is devoted to improving outcomes for looked after children by maximising the positive impact of the reviewing process.
NAIRO has recently registered as a charity with a view to obtaining more funding from charitable sources, to enable us to strengthen our organisation for the benefit of children in care.
We have the benefit of several leading academics in social work or related fields, amongst our associate membership. We also have a number of eminent patrons who support our work.
For more information see our website www.nairo.org.uk