A consultation event organised by the Who Cares? Trust found overwhelming support from young people to see the role of Independent Reviewing Officer role taken out of council control and instead be overseen by a new organisation.
IROs are responsible for chairing reviews for children living in children’s homes or foster care, but the fact they are based within LAs has led many to questions about how independent hey can be.
Care leavers were very critical of the effectiveness of IROs arguing it is difficult for IROs to be truly independent while working for a council. They said that IROs did not meet them enough and were poor at explaining their role in supporting young people in care. They were also concerned that they rarely saw evidence that their concerns had been followed up.
The National Association of Independent Reviewing Officers (Nairo) last month asked its members whether they want to remain under local authority control or not but the results are still awaited.