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Independent reviewing officer (IRO)

An independent reviewing officer (IRO) is employed by us (Norfolk County Council). However they are independent of any of our social work teams.

What does an IRO do?

Their role is to ensure that your care plan fully reflects all your needs, and that these are met. This includes your health, education and home life needs, and who you see.

They will also:

  • Want to know your wishes and feelings. They will consider these when looking at your care plan.
  • Check that adults are doing what has been agreed in your care plan. For example, your social worker, foster carer, family members and teachers.
  • Challenge social workers and other adults, if they don’t think they are doing a good job
  • Usually chair your LAC (looked after children) review. They are there to make sure:
    • Reviews are run properly
    • Your views are listened to
    • Your best interests are protected
    • Everyone has done everything they should

How can an IRO help me?

IROs can support children and young people to:

How often will I meet an IRO?

IRO’s will meet with you at your LAC review which take place:

  • When you come into care
  • Three months later
  • Then every six months, until you are 18-years-old

You can contact your IRO between review meetings if you want to talk to them. You can work with them and chair your own review meetings if you like. Your IRO will offer to meet with you before each review meeting, so you can tell them your wishes and feelings.

If you move, or if there are major changes in your care plan, the IRO will meet with you again.

How long will an IRO be involved in my life?

IRO’s stay involved for as long as you remain in care, up to 18-years-old. You can ask your IRO to attend your first pathway plan review, after you are 18-years-old.

Will I have the same IRO at every meeting?

Unless the IRO retires or leaves their job, you will have the same IRO throughout your time in care.

You can contact your independent reviewing officer by emailing cs-irs@norfolk.gov.uk.

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