Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.
Members received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services which provided an overview of the Independent Review Service in the City of London Corporation, covered in the IRO Annual Report for 2016-2017. Members welcomed the new, permanent IRO to the City Corporation and recognised the work of the previous IRO, which had been evident from Ofsted Inspections, particularly involving young people in their reviews.
Your report identifies the need for the Reviewing Service and the Department to improve the way that young people should be engaged and involved in their reviews. Can you say what work has been undertaken in this area to drive up standards regarding consultation and engagement.
A new device based application called Mo Mo (Mind of my Own) provides access to 10 different professionals; i.e. Social Worker and Virtual Head Teacher, offering advice on preparing for meetings. Whilst encouraging improvements in English, it is also available in a range of languages. The Children in Care Council were very supportive of this app; supported by face to face contacts. Preparation time before Review Meetings has increased, with young people encouraged to set their own agendas. Meeting times themselves been reduced to 40 minutes and there was a new, less formal template which would be shared with Safeguarding Sub Committee Members.
Given one of the IRO responsibilities is to ensure that the young people have a Care Plan in place, which is on track and meeting the outcomes within it, how does the role interface, not just with social care but also health and education partners, to ensure the outcomes are being met?
There are regular meetings between the Virtual Head Teacher and Health and Education Partners.
What role does the IRO have in supporting transition arrangements for Children in Care when they become Care Leavers?
The IRO considers the post care pathway plan 6 months before the last LAC Review. Post 18-19 year olds are offered a further review, if they feel they would like one, but this is not statutory. Members noted that the IRO is not engaged post 19.
In response to a further question about the immigration status of asylum seekers, Members noted that the entire service was dedicated to this cohort but there were considerable delays in Home Office processing. However, the City Corporation Social Workers had become very experienced in Home Office procedures and were planning to work with other agencies who could assist. The IRO offered to report to a future Sub Committee on this work.
RESOLVED, that – the report be noted.