Nagalro, the professional association for Family Court Advisers, Children’s Guardians and Independent Social Workers, has backed Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) after a recent review of foster care in England recommended that they should be “dispensed with”.
The review, conducted by Sir Martin Narey and Mark Owers, was published earlier this month.
But Nagalro said it “strongly believes” that such a move would put vulnerable children at “real risk”.
IROs were introduced under s118 Adoption and Children Act 2002 to deal with the problem of children, coming into local authority care under detailed plans to ensure their future welfare, only to find that those plans were never implemented and the child suffered life-long harm as a result.
The charity says the task of the IRO is to be the voice of the children who cannot speak out for themselves.
Acting Chair of Nagalro, Sukhchandan Kaur, says it is crucial that children in care have a named professional ensuring that their care plans remain in their interest and are implemented.
She said IROs need “to be better resourced and strengthened to protect the most vulnerable children in our society”.
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