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4.4.3 Looked After Reviews


Appointment and Role of the Independent Reviewing Officers Procedure

Note that different provisions apply to children who acquire Looked After status as a result of a remand to local authority accommodation or Youth Detention Accommodation. In relation to those children, please see Remands to Local Authority Accommodation or to Youth Detention Accommodation Procedure, Care Planning.


This chapter was amended in October 2019 to clarify the Social workers role in updating ICS.


  1. Purpose
  2. Frequency
  3. Chairing of Reviews
  4. Convening Looked After Reviews
  5. Invitations and the Child's Participation
  6. The Role of the Social Worker
  7. Supporters and Interpreters
  8. Responsibilities of the Independent Reviewing Officer
  9. The Role of Reviews in Achieving Permanence
  10. Children in Long Term Foster Placements
  11. Looked After Reviews and Child Protection Plans
  12. Recording Looked After Reviews
  13. Review Decisions
  14. Monitoring of Review Decisions

1. Purpose

The purpose of the Looked After Review is to:

  • Ensure that appropriate plans are in place to safeguard and promote the overall welfare of the Looked After child in the most effective way and achieve permanence for them within a timescale that meets their needs;
  • To monitor the progress of the plans and ensure they are being progressed effectively;
  • To make decisions, as necessary, for amendments to those plans to reflect any change in knowledge and/or circumstances;
  • To ensure the needs of children looked after as a result of a secure remand are met;
  • To ensure that an Eligible Young Person moving into semi-independent accommodation is ready and prepared to move;
  • For a young person living in foster care, the first Looked After Review following their 16th birthday (and subsequent reviews) should consider whether a Staying Put arrangement (whereby the young person remains in the foster home after the age of 18) might be be an option (see Staying Put Procedure).

A Looked After Review must take place before any significant change is made to the child's Care Plan, unless that is not reasonably practicable, including a decision to cease looking after a child.

Looked After Reviews should normally be conducted at a meeting although this may not be required in respect of a child who has been in a designated Long-term Foster Placement for over twelve months (see Section 10, Looked After Reviews and Child Protection Plans).

It is essential that decisions taken at Looked After Reviews are implemented and so responsibility for actions must be clearly defined.

The key plans that should be considered at a Looked After Review are:

The review should also take account of the child's Placement Plan and any other plans or strategies (e.g. behaviour management strategy), ensuring that they are up to date, or that arrangements are in place to update them.

2. Frequency


Looked After Reviews should normally be convened at the following intervals:

  • An initial Looked After Review within 20 working days of the child becoming Looked After;
  • The second Looked After Review within three months of the Initial Review;
  • Subsequent Reviews should be held not more than six months after the previous review.
2.2 In relation to children placed with prospective adopters or where there is Authority to Place for Adoption, see the Adoption Reviews Procedure.

Looked After Reviews may be brought forward by the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) where circumstances or an event have a significant impact upon the child's care plan. For example:

  • A proposed change of care plan for example arising at short notice in the course of proceedings following directions from the court;
  • Where agreed decisions from the review are not carried out within the specified timescale;
  • Major change to the contact arrangements;
  • Changes of allocated social worker;
  • Any safeguarding concerns involving the child, whether or not they result in a Section 47 investigation;
  • Complaints from or on behalf of the child, parent or carer;
  • Unexpected changes in the child's placement provision which may significantly impact on placement stability or safeguarding arrangements;
  • Significant changes in birth family circumstances for example births, marriages or deaths which may have a particular impact on the child;
  • If the child is charged with any offence leading to referral to youth offending services, pending criminal proceedings and/or any conviction or sentence as a result of such proceedings;
  • If the child is excluded from school;
  • If the child has run away or is missing from an approved placement;
  • Significant health, medical events, diagnoses, illnesses, hospitalisations, or serious accidents; and panel decisions in relation to permanency.

(DfE Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015)).

This is not an exhaustive list and the IRO may judge that other events are significant and require an earlier review. The parents and child should also be consulted about the need for an additional review.

3. Chairing of Reviews

Independent Reviewing Officers will chair reviews. They are located within the Independent Reviewing Team which is part of the Partnerships & Quality Assurance Service.

The IRO's responsibilities are outlined in Section 8, Independent Reviewing Officer's Responsibilities.

See also Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers Procedure.

If the allocated IRO cannot attend the meeting and it is important that the review meeting is not delayed, the meeting will be chaired / attended by a substitute IRO.

4. Convening Looked After Reviews

4.1 Arranging the first review

As soon as a child becomes Looked After, the Access to Resources Team completes the LAC Notification Form (SOC 408) which will notify the Independent Review Service.

This will trigger the appointment of an Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) for the child. The Independent Reviewing Service will then arrange the date, time and venue of the child's first Looked After Review.

The venue will be agreed between the social worker and the allocated IRO.

4.2 Arranging second and subsequent reviews

At the end of each review the IRO will set the date, time and venue of the next review, taking account of what is convenient for review participants.

Review dates cannot be rearranged unless there are exceptional circumstances and then only if the rearranged meeting can take place within statutory timescales, in which case the new date should be agreed by the social worker with the IRO. The Independent Reviewing Service will inform the other participants.

In the event of a key participant being ill or unable to attend the review, the meeting will normally go ahead though the IRO may decide that the review be held in two parts and arrange to receive that person's input separately - see Section 8, Independent Reviewing Officer's Responsibilities.

Should the child cease to be Looked After before the review date, the child's social worker will notify the Independent Reviewing Service who will inform the IRO and other prospective attendees that the review is cancelled and why.

5. Invitations and the Child's Participation

Discussion should take place between the social worker and the child (subject to age and understanding) at least 20 working days before the meeting about who the child would like to attend the meeting and where the meeting will be held.

Invitations to reviews will be sent by the Independent Reviewing Service following consultation between the child, their social worker and the IRO. Invitations to reviews and consultation documents will be sent out to all those participating in the review at least 10 working days before the meeting.

The following should normally be invited to participate, in person or through written submission:

  • The child. There is a presumption that the child will attend the review. A child's disability must not be a bar to the child's attendance or engagement;
  • The parents and anyone else with parental responsibility, carers and any significant people or specialists involved in the child's case, (except as set out below);
  • The supervising social worker, if the child is placed with foster carers;
  • The keyworker / manager if the child is in residential care;
  • The most appropriate teacher at the child's school (usually the Designated Teacher for looked after children);
  • The Personal Adviser, for a young person over 16;
  • The Independent Visitor, if involved;
  • If required, an interpreter;
  • Any other person with a legitimate interest in the child e.g. health care professional, GP, a representative from the Local Authority in whose area it is proposed that the child will be placed; (Such attendance should always be discussed with the child before invitations are made and his/her views obtained);
  • A representative of the Virtual School, if appropriate;
  • Contact Supervisor (where relevant).
A balance must be struck in relation to who the child wishes to be present and the need for information and input from the professionals and family members involved. Efforts should be made to keep the number present at the review as small as possible, particularly where the child is attending. Consideration must also be given to the impact upon / feelings of the child at having various professionals including their teacher in a meeting about them, possible even held in their own home. It may be appropriate for information to be provided in writing or at a separate meeting where the contribution is strictly factual.

Children and parents should also be informed that they can arrange to see the IRO separately if they wish or bring a supporter or interpreter to the review. See Section 7, Supporters and Interpreters.

Where the child does not wish to attend the review, the IRO must at the very least speak to the child before the review - wherever possible in a face to face meeting.

The child's social worker must ensure that children and families have been given information about the Complaints Procedure. They should provide the child with details of independent advocacy services who may provide support if the child requires it.

A decision not to invite a child or parent(s) to a review should only be made in exceptional circumstances and in consultation with the IRO, prior to the review. The decision should be recorded, together with reasons, on the review document and the child's record. Parental attendance should reflect the level of their involvement and whether they are currently having contact with the child. It may be more appropriate for the IRO to see the parents separately.

There may be exceptional circumstances where the child's social worker, in consultation with the IRO, decides that the attendance of the carer at all or part of the review meeting will not be appropriate or practicable. Where this is the case, a clear explanation of the reasons should be given and other arrangements made for the carer to contribute to the review process, perhaps through their supervising social worker. Details of the reasons why a carer is excluded and a record of their input should be placed on the child's case record.

Where any other invited person cannot attend, the IRO may agree that a delegate can attend instead.

6. The Role of the Social Worker

The child's social worker must discuss the purpose of the review with the child, parents and carers and consult the child about invitations at least 20 working days before the review meeting.

Where the child wishes to chair, or be involved in planning, their own review, the social worker should inform the IRO.

In all cases, the child and parent(s) should be encouraged and supported by the social worker to prepare for the review, in writing or other ways if they wish, for example by seeing the IRO separately. The social worker should agree with the IRO how this will be achieved. This requires early consultation between the social worker and the IRO, and should be part their ongoing dialogue throughout their involvement with the child's case.

The child's social worker must also ensure the IRO is kept informed of any significant changes in the child's circumstances and the outcomes of any other meetings held as part of the review process, which consider aspects of the child's Care Plan. In addition, they must notify the IRO if they believe that any decision made at a review is no longer appropriate or achievable because of a change in circumstances.

Where the child has been, or is the subject of, Court proceedings, the social worker should ensure the IRO has clear information about the child's legal status and the Court timetable.

Social workers should be aware that, prior to each review, the IRO will check that the child's records and plans are up to date, and read records of placement visits and check the last date when the child's sleeping accommodation was seen. Any changes in household membership must be clearly recorded on the case file.

In preparation for the review, the social worker must:

  • Ensure that the Care Plan / Pathway Plan is up to date on ICS and has clear detail regarding the long-term plan for permanence;
  • Prepare to summarise for the IRO the areas of progress and key events that have taken place for the child since the last LAC Review;
  • Note all health appointments that have taken place for the child since the last LAC review;
  • Arrange a time with the IRO to speak at least two weeks before the LAC Review to give a brief update of the child's Care Plan and wellbeing, and confirm arrangements and invitees for the Review meeting(s).

Following the review, the social worker is responsible for updating the Care Plan within 10 working days, with any changes agreed at the review.

The social worker should also update the Permanence Plan, Health Care Plan and Personal Education Plan as required, and arrange for a Pathway Plan to be completed / updated, where relevant.

The social worker should also ensure that the child's Placement Information Record is updated if required.

Where the child and/or the parents are unable to attend the review, the IRO would normally consult with them and must ensure that they are informed in writing of the outcome of the Review.

See also Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers Procedure, Duty of Social Worker to Keep IRO Informed.

7. Supporters and Interpreters

The social worker and IRO should consider prior to the review whether either the child or parent(s) would benefit from the presence of a supporter or advocate and if so, the social worker should ensure the necessary arrangements are made. A supporter may be an advocate on behalf of the child / parent(s), a person with specialist skills or knowledge or simply someone to accompany the child or parent.

If an interpreter is required, the social worker must make these arrangements. Special needs of child or parents, for example arising from disability, should always be considered and appropriate assistance arranged where relevant.

Any request by the child or parent(s) for their legal adviser to attend as their supporter should be notified to the IRO prior to the review and consideration given to the attendance at the review of a LGSS legal adviser to the local authority.

Where a supported, particularly a Legal Adviser, attends without prior notice, the IRO may consider adjourning the Review.

8. Responsibilities of the Independent Reviewing Officer

The IRO's role is to chair Looked After Reviews and monitor the appropriateness of the Care Plan (on an ongoing basis including whether any safeguarding issues arise), its implementation and to establish whether the milestones set out in the plan are being achieved in a timely way.

See also Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers Procedure, which sets out in detail the role of the IRO outside the Looked After Review.

In relation to their role at reviews, a key task for all IROs is to ensure that the review process is child and family-centred and that the child's views are heard. They should particularly be concerned to ensure that a disabled child's contributions are obtained and effectively presented to the review.

The IRO should consult the child about their Care Plan at each review and at any time that there is a significant change to it. The IRO should meet the child before the first Looked After Review and arrange to meet the child in advance of each subsequent Looked After Reviews.

The IRO must be satisfied that the wishes and feelings of the child's parents, any person who is not a parent but who has parental responsibility and the current carer have been ascertained and taken into account as part of the review process.

Wherever possible, the child should be encouraged to chair the meeting and in these circumstances the IRO will assist the child. In all other cases, the IRO will chair the review - see Section 3, Chairing of Reviews.

More than one meeting may be required to ensure the views of relevant people inform the review without the meeting becoming too large. It may be appropriate to hold a meeting involving the child prior to a meeting involving the parent to obtain information and ascertain the views of both where, for example, the child does not wish to attend a meeting with their parents present, or there are other reasons why this would not be appropriate.

The IRO is responsible for ensuring that all relevant people, including the child and parents, understand the purpose of the review and have been given appropriate opportunities to contribute and express their views. The IRO should also ensure that relevant consultation has taken place with those professionals who are not in attendance at the meeting.

Where participants' views are not followed, an explanation of the reasons why needs to be provided by the IRO and/or the social worker. Any differences of opinion should be recorded in the minutes. 

If the parent(s) or the child brings a supporter, the IRO will need to explain their role, ensuring that the supporter understands that they may clarify information to assist the parent but may not 'cross-examine' any contributor.

Where the 'supporter' is a legal representative then the IRO should note The Law Society guidance 'Attendance of solicitors at local authority Children Act Meetings' and related 'Code of Conduct (2011)'.

All solicitors attending these meetings should be aware of the local policies and procedures in respect of Children Act Meetings and of their role in terms of 'Working Together to Safeguard Children'.

Where a Legal Adviser attends without prior notice, the IRO may consider adjourning the Review.

The agenda for each review will be agreed at the beginning of the meeting and each participant will be invited to contribute their own items to the agenda and have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion.

The IRO will decide on what actions are necessary to meet the child's reviewed needs and formulate decisions from the review as to how these should be achieved, identifying a named lead and timescale for each action.

Where a review considers that adoption or long term fostering is the most appropriate way to meet the child's needs, this is submitted to the Permanence & Quality Assurance Meeting for consideration - see Placement for Adoption Procedure.

The IRO may adjourn a review meeting once, for not more than 20 working days, if not satisfied that sufficient information has been provided by the Local Authority to enable proper consideration of any of the key factors to be discussed.

The IRO should consider the effects on the child of delaying the meeting and seek the wishes and feelings of the child, carer and parents where appropriate.

Proposals under consideration at the adjourned review would not normally be implemented until the review has been completed.

It will be necessary for the IRO to ensure decisions are clear and establish who is responsible for action and the timescales agreed for completion. The IRO should ensure that the following are considered and accounted for during the review:

  • The effect of any change in the child's circumstances since the last review, any change made to the Care Plan, whether decisions taken at the last review have been successfully implemented and if not the reasons;

  • Whether any change should be sought in the child's legal status;

  • Whether there is a plan for permanence;

  • Arrangements for contact / whether there is any need for changes to the arrangements in order to promote contact between the child and parents / other Connected Persons;

  • Whether the placement continues to be the most appropriate available, whether any change to the placement agreement or any other aspect of the arrangements is likely to become necessary before the next review;

  • Whether the placement safeguards and promotes the child's welfare, and whether any safeguarding concerns have been raised;
  • The child's educational needs, progress and development and whether any change is likely to become necessary or desirable before the next review, including consideration of his/her most recent assessment of progress and development; whether the arrangements are meeting the child's educational needs; whether the child has a Personal Education Plan (PEP) and whether its content provides a clear framework for promoting educational achievement;
  • The child's leisure interests and activities and whether the arrangements are meeting his/her needs;
  • The child's health report, and whether any change in health care arrangements is likely to be necessary or desirable before the next review; whether the content of the Health Action Plan provides a clear framework for promoting the child's health; whether the arrangements are meeting the child's health needs;
  • Whether the child's needs related to identity are being met and whether any change is required having regard to the child's religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural background;
  • Whether the arrangements for advice, support and assistance continue to be appropriate and understood by the child;
  • Whether any arrangements need to be made for the time when the child will no longer be looked after;
  • The child's wishes and feelings and the views of the IRO about any aspect of the case and in particular about any changes made since the last review or proposed to be made to the Care Plan; whether the plan fulfils the duty to safeguard and promote the child's welfare and whether it would be in the child's interests for an Independent Visitor to be appointed;
  • The frequency of the social worker's visits, as appropriate to the type of placement and the child's needs (see below);
  • Whether the delegation of authority to take decisions about a child's care continues to be appropriate and in the child's best interests;
  • Other matters which may arise should also be considered with due regard to the circumstances of the child and the placement.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Award. The Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) must discuss the appropriateness of a claim at the first review following the conclusion of care proceedings, if not before, and record clearly the decision regarding the appropriateness of making a claim. The progress of any claim must be monitored at subsequent reviews until completion.

Where a child is looked after but the local authority does not have parental responsibility, the child's social worker should approach the person with parental responsibility, if it is appropriate to do so, and inform them of their right to make a claim on behalf of the child and assist them in doing so. Here, the IRO must check that this has been considered and the outcome of the discussion recorded.

Social worker visits to the child. The IRO must check that the social worker is visiting the child regularly and that their contact meets the requirements of Social Worker Visits to Looked After Children. The standard minimum frequency is six-weekly. Where a child has been placed with foster carers for more than a year and a permanent 'match' has been made, the frequency of visits can be reduced to maximum intervals of 12 weeks, but only if this agreed by a LAC Review. This should not be 'automatic', but reflect the stability of the placement, that the relationship between the child and their social worker is well established, etc.

The IRO must record this in their decisions and keep it under review at future meetings.

Where there is any evidence of poor practice, delays in progressing the care plan or other concerns, the IRO will consider what action is needed to bring this to the attention of the appropriate managers - see Section 14, Monitoring of Review Decisions.

The IRO should also seek to assist with dispute resolution where this might be required.

9. The Role of Reviews in Achieving Permanence

The Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) must check that the child's Care Plan includes a Permanence Plan with measurable milestones and a contingency plan should the preferred plans not materialise.

At the second Looked After Review, there is a requirement to focus on the Permanence Plan, to ensure it provides permanence for the child within a timescale which is realistic, achievable and meets the child's needs.

If it is considered that the chosen avenue to permanence is not viable, the IRO must ensure that the social worker brings forward plans as a matter of urgency to consider the most appropriate permanent alternative.

At the third Review a Twin Track / Parallel Plan must be developed where a Permanence Plan has not been achieved. For example, where a plan for rehabilitation of the child has not been achieved, the Review should seek to establish whether the lack of progress is as a result of drift or whether there are valid child-centred reasons, properly recorded and endorsed by the social worker's manager. No further rehabilitation plan should be recommended unless there are exceptional reasons justifying such a plan or where further assessment is specifically directed by the Court. In this case, the Parallel Plan must include the active pursuit of an alternative placement for the child.

All subsequent Reviews should review the progress and validity of the Permanence Plan.

Children who are Section 20 Accommodated (Children Act 1989): IROs should pay particular regard to children accommodated under s20 to ensure there is appropriate progression of their plans and that there are no delays in respect of them achieving 'permanence', (which could involve a return home). A High Court judgement (see Herefordshire Council v AB [2018] EWFC 10 rtf) was critical of protracted delay in planning for a child and the council's failure to respond to a parent's request for the child's return under s20(8). Further, the court took the view that the IRO, whilst recognising the issues of delay and planning and highlighting these to managers, did not respond sufficiently robustly.

The judgement considered that in circumstances where the threshold criteria (for Care / Supervision Orders) under S31 Children Act 1989 are met, (i.e. where a child is at risk of significant harm, or the likelihood of significant harm), then care proceedings should be issued without delay.

10. Children in Long Term Foster Placements

Paragraph 4.17 of The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations - Volume 2: Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (2015) sets out that where a child is placed in a designated long-term foster placement and has been in this placement for more than a year consideration should be given to whether it is necessary to hold a meeting as part of each review.

The guidance requires that the social worker should consult the IRO and the child (where appropriate to age and understanding) in reaching a decision on whether to hold a meeting. Where it is agreed that a meeting will not be held as part of every review a meeting should be held at least once a year. The factors leading to a decision to hold review meetings on a less frequent basis must be recorded in the child's Care Plan.

Where a decision is taken that the review process will not include a meeting the IRO must ensure that full consultation with all relevant individuals, including the child, has taken place to inform the review of the child's case.

11. Looked After Reviews and Child Protection Plans

Where, unusually, a looked after child remains the subject of a Child Protection Plan, there should be a single planning and reviewing process, led by the IRO, leading to the development of a single plan.

Consideration should be given to the IRO chairing the Child Protection Conference where a looked after child remains subject to a Child Protection Plan. Where that is not possible, it is expected that the IRO will attend the Child Protection Review Conference.

The timing of the review of the child protection aspects of the Care Plan should be as in Section 2, Frequency of Looked After Reviews.

The Looked After Review, when reviewing the child protection aspects of the plan, should consider whether the criteria continue to be met for the child to remain the subject of a Child Protection Plan.

Consideration must be given to ensuring that the multi-agency contribution to the review of the Child Protection Plan is addressed within the review of the Care Plan.

12. Recording Looked After Reviews

It is the responsibility of the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) to record the review. A written record of the decisions and recommendations will be completed and circulated by the Independent Review Officer to all participants within 5 working days of the meeting. This should also be sent to the Team Manager who will consider the decisions made at the review - see Section 13, Review Decisions.

The full written record of the review will be completed within 15 working days of the review. The full record should contain an accurate and comprehensive record of the meeting, or meetings, which constituted the review and of the views of all those who attended or were consulted as part of the review process. The record should also reflect the review process for a designated long term foster placement where a meeting did not take place. The Independent Reviewing Service will send copies out to all relevant parties who have provided their contact details on the attendance sheet within 20 working days of the completion of the review.

Decisions and the Review record will normally be circulated to parents (and anyone else without access to secure email) through Managed File Transfer.

The decisions should have any identifying details removed as necessary, for example, exceptionally, the address of the placement.

Where parents do not attend the review / part of the meeting and contribute their views in some other manner, a discussion should take place between the social worker and the IRO as to whether it is in the child's interest for the parents to receive a full record of the review, and, if not, what written information should be sent to them. Examples of where this should be a consideration are where there is a 'no contact order' or supervised contact only.

13. Review Decisions

The Team Manager / Team Manager must consider the decisions made at each Looked After Review within five working days of receiving them and advise the IRO and all those who attended the review if they are unable to agree them.

If no response is received the decisions will be considered as agreed by the Local Authority and must be implemented within the timescales set out in the report.

If the TM / TM disagrees with any of the decisions within that initial five working day period, this should initially be notified in writing to the IRO.

In the first instance the IRO should attempt to resolve the issue informally. If this is not successful the IRO can consider activating the local dispute resolution process.

14. Monitoring of Review Decisions

The Independent Reviewing Officer has a key role in the quality assurance function of the local authority's service for looked after children, and will therefore recognise and report on good practice by individuals or teams.

It is important for the IRO to have a positive, collaborative relationship with the social workers, care providers and their managers, but also for them to provide robust challenge to promptly address any perceived deficiencies in care planning or barriers to achieving progress for looked after children

Where the IRO believes that the Local Authority has failed in any significant respect to prepare the child's Care Plan, review the child's case or effectively implement any decision in consequence of a review, or are otherwise in breach of their duties to the child in any material respect, the Alerts and Escalations process will be followed.

Alerts and Escalations

Alerts. An 'Alert' is when the issue in question is raised informally. The IRO will first speak to the relevant SW, ideally in person but otherwise on the phone, to discuss the issue. This will be followed by an email from the IRO to the SW, copying in their TM / TM and PQA LAC, to summarise the discussion and agreement of how it will be resolved within 10 working days. This email must be recorded on ICS as a 'Case Note' under 'IRO Discussion'.

Escalation. If the issue is not resolved within this timeframe the IRO will notify the District Safeguarding / Group Manager by phone / email (cc TM / TM, IRO Service Manager and PQA LAC) and agree how the issue will be resolved within a further 5 working days. The IRO will open an 'Issue / Alert' exemplar on ICS, including brief details of the issue, which is then 'workflowed' to the DSM and an email sent to the IRO Service Manager. 

If the issue is still unresolved after the agreed 5 days (now 15 days from raising the informal alert), the IRO will discuss next steps with their Service Manager and consider escalation to the relevant Heads of Service, for both the SW line and PQA. The expectation is that this would will facilitate resolution within a further 5 working days. This should be 'workflowed' to the Heads of Service and an email sent to the DSM and IRO Service Manager, cc PQA LAC. The IRO will update the original Issue / Alert exemplar to record this further escalation.

Should there still be no resolution, the IRO in consultation with their Service Manager should raise the issue with the Director.

Whilst the process includes timescales to allow a response at the different stages, the IRO must press for an immediate response where there are concerns for the safety of the child, or a more urgent response is needed (e.g. court timescales)

Tracking and reporting. The IRO is responsible for monitoring the progress of their Alert / Escalation and for closing the ICS exemplar once the issue has been resolved. The form should then be signed by the IRO and countersigned by their Service Manager.

Each month a report will be generated of all the issues that have been raised. This will enable the IRO Service Manager to identify and analyse themes and comment on their impact. The reports will also be circulated to Heads of Service and DSMs for information.

The IRO has the authority to refer the case to CAFCASS where they consider it appropriate to do so and must consider a referral to CAFCASS where, having drawn any failures as set out above to the attention of persons of appropriate seniority within the Council, the issues have not been addressed to their satisfaction within a reasonable period of time.

In the first instance, the IRO will discuss this with their Service Manager and consideration will be given to taking independent legal advice regarding next steps.