What is an IRO?
Their role is to have oversight of a child’s case and ensure that a child’s interests are protected throughout their time in care.
The legislation states that the primary role of an IRO is:
To ensure that the care plan for the child fully reflects the child’s current needs and that the actions set out in the plan are consistent with the local authority’s legal responsibilities towards the child.
The Children’s Commissioner for Wales summarizes what children should expect from their IRO:
Children have stated that IROs should listen to children, make sure that they are happy with their plans, ensure their views are heard and that their plans are kept to, and be powerful enough to do something about it if they are not. They have asked that IROs should keep in touch with each child they support between review meetings, see the child one-to-one, keep checking care on behalf of the child and explain important decisions
The legislation gives a number of specific responsibilities to IROs. IROs in Conwy will ensure that they do the following:
- promote the voice of the child;
- ensure that plans for children looked after are based on a detailed and informed assessment, are up to date, effective and provide a real and genuine response to each child’s needs;
- make sure that the child understands how an advocate could help and his/her entitlement to one;
- offer a safeguard to prevent any ‘drift’ in care planning for children looked after and the delivery of services to them; and
- monitor the activity of the local authority as a corporate parent in ensuring that care plans have given proper consideration and weight to the child’s wishes and feelings and that, where appropriate, the child fully understands
GP Cymru – North Wales Advocacy Service
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