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.

IRO Consultation with Children Tool Kit

March 28th, 2015

Consultation toolkitCourtesy of: Nicola Howard, Independent Reviewing Office, Leeds City Council.

The Leeds IRO Consultation with Children Toolkit was devised as a way to support IROs in their enhanced role of promoting the voice of the child and ensuring that children and young people are seen ahead of their review meetings. Children and young people are a diverse group of individuals and they communicate their wishes and feelings in different ways. We felt it was important for IROs to have the tools to communicate in a way that encourages and enables children and young people to participate in the planning and decision making process.

IRO ConsultationToolkitconsists of a number of games to play with children and young people to explore how they might be feeling and what has happened to them since their last review meeting. The games are interactive, many of which the IRO will also play alongside the child which allows opportunity for the IRO/child relationship to develop. There are some work sheets to use with older children which are designed to explore how they are feeling about themselves and their future as well as helping them to plan and think about what they want to talk about at their review. The Toolkit also consists of a wipe-clean laminated board with felt-tip pens for younger children to draw or write on with the potential to use stickers as well. We worked in partnership with the Council’s Graphic Designers to develop the colourful images which have been well received by both children and professionals.

The idea of the Toolkit is that it is a ‘pick and mix’ of work sheets and games that can be used individually or as a developing piece of work, which can be revised and updated with the child or young person ahead of each review. The Toolkit was launched across the IRO teams in Leeds in June 2013 and the feedback from children and IROs has been very positive. The toolkit has been particularly helpful in consultations with children where the IRO may have been seeing them for many years as well as children who are harder to engage directly with, who have really taken to playing the games and exploring how they feel in a less direct way.

More information can be found on the partnerships national website by adding the following address to your web browser: IRO ConsultationToolkit

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