National IRO Manager Partnership e-Magazine

The National IRO Manager Partnership has produced this free e-magazine to support the work of its members. It offers professional news; good practice highlights; reflections on topical policy matters and links to articles to support continuous professional development as a IRO.

Overarching vision, aims and objectives


To build on models of best practice, to improve outcomes for children looked after and care leavers.

The National IRO Partnership is committed to creating an excellent Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) system. Every child in care should expect the best possible service from their IRO.

The aims of the partnership are:-

  • Jointly work to achieve consistently high standards throughout IRO services; to drive forward excellent outcomes for children and young people in care.
  • Evidence the impact of the IRO service on outcomes for children and young people in care.
  • Build on opportunities for regional collaboration in order to develop and improve practice with support of the regional leads.

And we have the following objectives:-

  • To hold high aspirations and promote best practice
  • To identify barriers which might inhibit best practice and propose solutions to those barriers
  • To identify and respond to opportunities for influencing policy development at national and regional level
  • To identify and participate in short Task and Finish activities on behalf of this group
  • To share information about regional and national resources or services which will improve the life experience of children in care
  • To contribute, promote and distribute news and information
  • To undertake and respond to research and consultations
  • To promote professional development

The partnership meets in London four times a year and we are very grateful to the Department of Education for hosting the meetings. Attendance at the meetings has increased over the last year as awareness of the partnership and its’ work has increased and support from senior managers has improved. We are still concerned that not all IRO Managers are aware of the regional and national groups – addressing this short fall is a key target for us as we want to be able to reach out to all of you who work in IRO services so that we can gain your views and suggestions and provide you with support, information and resources to help you in the incredibly important job you do.

As we continue to be challenged about how to evidence that we have a positive impact and make a real, unique difference to outcomes for children and young people, it is vital that we are able to represent IRO Services – so your contributions are vital.

As a national group we are determined to continue to highlight that we work within large, bureaucratic and hierarchical systems; that for many IROs caseloads are still too high and distances travelled to reach some of the children placed outside of their origin areas are vast; that we cannot be responsible for the national shortage of foster carers or adopters or for senior operational managers who are not willing to truly embrace the IROs as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the services for children in care.

We want to talk with children but not in a way that reinforces to them that they are in care and have no choice about yet another adult asking questions and ‘interfering’ in their lives just so that we can tick the box that evidences we have seen a child alone to satisfy a performance indicator that is not sensitive enough to the principle of ‘listening’ to children and taking into consideration their wishes and feelings.

We want to develop services that are bespoke to individual children and young people, that are truly child focused rather than process driven, and with colleagues from all partner agencies, can make an authentic difference in the lives of children and young people in care.

Thank you for visiting the web-site. We hope that you will find it helpful, thought provoking and supportive.

Work plan priorities

The national IRO Manager partnership are focusing on the following work plan priorities as part of this commitment to promote excellence across IRO services:

  • Developing strong stakeholder partnerships.
  • Reviewing the annual IRO report template.
  • Development of good practice standards.
  • Development of Transitions guidance
  • Development of guidance regarding local dispute resolution processes.
  • Development of case load weighting guidance.
  • Development of a capabilities framework to support performance management, learning and continuous improvement.

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This entry was posted on 20th May 2015 by .

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