UKCORRUPTFAMILYCOURTS

April 12, 2011

Seems people who work in industry dont think independent reviewing officers are independent either

Filed under: Secret family courts — nojusticeforparents @ 6:19 pm

Below is part of a thread taken from the social worker forums on communitycare website

Shirack Posted: 4 Jan 2011 11:58 AM

Is there any legislation saying IROs must be self employed or agency? If not why not? and if it remains the same should we not drop the “I” knowing how corrupt upper echelons are becoming.

Situation will get even worse under the present government as more and more decisions will become resource availabiltiy dictated, according to budget.   IROs must be independent now more than ever.

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Rupert M replied on 4 Jan 2011 12:30 PM

You raise extremely pertinent and serious concerns. ‘Independent’ – my eye!!! Who bites the hand that feeds them? Even working through an Agency is not independent as the Local Authority pays the Agency – I speak from first-hand experience. I raised extremely serious concerns with both Sandwell MBC and OFSTED only to find that at the end of the day the responsibility rests with the Local Authority! The whole system is full of professional ‘holes’ and certainly does not offer anywhere near the degree of protection that ‘Looked After’ Children & Young people need and deserve.

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Shirack replied on 4 Jan 2011 12:59 PM

Yes Rupert you are right about pipers calling the tune. So perhaps it’s a dedicated vol org function. Will e mail Eileen.

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JoSoPhine replied on 4 Jan 2011 3:43 PM

As long as a so called ‘Independent’ Review Officer is recruited by or is an employee of the local authority child care service provision being reviewed, then they are never independent. A consultation is currently underway on related aspects of this role.

Section 11 of The Children and Young Persons Act 2008 also has provisions to enable the setting up of a completely and truely Independent organisation for IRO’s and this is one of the key reasons a National Association of Independent Reviewing Officers has been set up.

IRO’s are like England’s Children’s Commissioner which is the weakest one in Europe and Children in the UK don’t really have many effective advocates, well what can one expect from a Society that believes things like ‘Children should be seen and not heard’

11 Power to make further provision concerning independent reviewing officers: England

(1)The Secretary of State may by order—

(a)establish a body corporate to discharge such functions as may be conferred on it by the order; or

(b) confer functions on the Service.

Plus….

PS:

“The Green Paper on ‘Care Matters’ has expressed concern over the lack of independence of IROs, and the potential conflict of interest that arises from using local authority employees. We would submit that Hillingdon provides a very clear illustration of the problems faced by children where the chair of the review is not a totally independent reviewing officer.”
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/blogs/childrens-services/2007/01/hillingdon-council-a-case-of-i.html

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Shirack replied on 4 Jan 2011 4:05 PM

title=”Yes – Yes“>

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Rupert M replied on 4 Jan 2011 4:56 PM

It must raise serious issues that Anthony Douglas is the Chair of BAAF (click on JoSoPhine’s link at ‘consultation’ above) and call into question a conflict of interests when he is also CEO of CAFCASS – an Organisation hardly renouned for doing what is best for many children including operating a Duty Guardian system which has received national criticism.

Unless and until the injustices around Looked After Children & Young People are properly addressed the system will remain non-independent and budget rather than needs led – Mr Douglas should know all about that but when you earn more than the Prime Minister perhaps you are reluctant to be critical as other threads on CareSpace bear witness.

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Rupert M replied on 4 Jan 2011 7:09 PM

…and I notice in the BAAF response that they basically support the status quo – don’t want to upset the foster-carers do we!!! Perhaps BAAF is ill positioned to both advocate for children as well as support foster carers.

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Digger replied on 6 Jan 2011 8:59 PM

 

Shirack:

Is there any legislation saying IROs must be self employed or agency? If not why not? and if it remains the same should we not drop the “I” knowing how corrupt upper echelons are becoming.

Situation will get even worse under the present government as more and more decisions will become resource availabiltiy dictated, according to budget.   IROs must be independent now more than ever.

 

I am an IRO in a northern authority, employed directly by a local authority, and nobody in our authority makes a decision changing a looked after childs care plan significantly without coming through a review, and if the intended change is dodgy, not thought through or the child does not like it and it affects their human rights it does not happen. If I dont like it after taking the lead from the child then it dont happen. We have never had to go past the Director as the LA know they are on a loser.

It would appear that you would very much like an agressive, confrontational, critical IRO service. whose needs does that meet – yours or the children? The best model is that of the LA employed because you forge relationships and create influence and you sustain relationships over the long term with the child. Relationships are the key. The director respects the IRO’s position on cases through influence. The IRO creates alliances for a child within care acting as a block.

ASK YOURSELF A QUESTION – If the IRO service is such a pussycat why did the ADCS submit to Munro that they would like to castrate it? (Because we are exerting influence especially around moving children from placements)

Don’t talk rubbish about hiving it off.

“Independent” privately employed – forget it LA will choose the IRO more easily and less relationship with the child (care tends to be a long affair)

CAFCASS – dont make me laugh – get into the Local Authority is shite and I am going to punish them groove.

NSPCC and sundry vol sec jokers – dont make me laugh they simply dont have the expertise or the orientation and it would cost more – is that what you really want?

Write your email to Munro and berate her that we dont shout loud enough and we should be more shouty. I hope she gives it the derision it deserves although I fear that she is of a similar shouty black and white broad brush strokes type like yourself Shrek.

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Digger replied on 6 Jan 2011 9:04 PM

There are four models of independence outlined in the 2002 guidance I suggest you read the regulations and guidance before you drone on about your very poor understanding of what the term “independent” means as per the regulations.

You might want it to mean otherwise but it does not.

I suggest reading before commenting.

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Shirack replied on 7 Jan 2011 1:23 PM

I was looking at it from the point of view of the service user. Not only must it be independant but be seen to be independant. Ever heard of the police complaints commission? Ask youself why  were they established?

Cheers.

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Rupert M replied on 7 Jan 2011 2:05 PM

I’m with you 100% Shirak – so we must be right!!! Too many IRO’s are Local Authority loyal through and through and often can not see the wood for the trees. How can they possible even THINK that they are independent? – perhaps someone has brainwashed them!!!

Time that some lawyers started suing LA’s for failing to adequately care for their ‘Looked After’ children – if the standard of care isn’t what reasonable and caring parents would provide then it is inadequate – SIMPLES!!!

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Digger replied on 8 Jan 2011 11:09 PM

 

Shirack:

I was looking at it from the point of view of the service user. Not only must it be independant but be seen to be independant. Ever heard of the police complaints commission? Ask youself why  were they established?

Cheers.

 

 

Shrek – I’ll take lectures on independence on those who can spell it correctly.

Rupert M – tell me the details of your complaints re LA practice (PM me) and I will give you an indication of whether it happens here. Always good to hear of how others see good/bad practice.

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Digger:

 

 

Shirack:

 

I was looking at it from the point of view of the service user. Not only must it be independant but be seen to be independant. Ever heard of the police complaints commission? Ask youself why  were they established?

Cheers.

 

 

 

Shrek – I’ll take lectures on independence on those who can spell it correctly.

Rupert M – tell me the details of your complaints re LA practice (PM me) and I will give you an indication of whether it happens here. Always good to hear of how others see good/bad practice.

 

Frigger; I will take your point when you learn to spell Shirack. 

Cheers.

 

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Shirack replied on 10 Jan 2011 1:33 PM

 

Shirack:

 

 

Digger:

 

 

Shirack:

 

I was looking at it from the point of view of the service user. Not only must it be independant but be seen to be independant. Ever heard of the police complaints commission? Ask youself why  were they established?

Cheers.

 

 

 

Shrek – I’ll take lectures on independence on those who can spell it correctly.

Rupert M – tell me the details of your complaints re LA practice (PM me) and I will give you an indication of whether it happens here. Always good to hear of how others see good/bad practice.

 

Frigger; I will take your point when you learn to spell Shirack. 

Cheers.

 

 

And it’s from those who can spell it correctly not “on those” 

 

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Shirack replied on 10 Jan 2011 1:38 PM

Frigger: This is how you write don’t not dont as in your previous posting.

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30 all!!!???

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simeon3 replied on 10 Jan 2011 2:21 PM

Can we keep the personal abuse out of this thread please. It’s an interesting topic but it’s in danger of being buried beneath a slanging match.

Thanks

CareSpace support

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Rupert M:

 

30 all!!!???

 

I don’t think we are going to get to love all. 

 

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I suggest a simple solution to the current arrangements, remove the ‘I’ from IRO – end of?

IRO’s are representatives of local authorities and accountable for their own practice and those of the local authority. They can’t detach themselves from the fact that they are critical in matters of Quality Assurance for children in Public Care, an area of practice that is marked by systemic and institutional failures.

Local Authorities also  seek to avoid duties that would require the use of IRO’s and are also agents of the policies that discharge children too early, thereby removing any need for an IRO oversight of service provision to children in Public Care.

Evidence of bad practice

Joint Committee On Human Rights”The evidence stated that, contrary to local authority guidance, there was no expectation that children would remain “looked after” unless there was an “exceptional reason” and advised social workers to avoid placing asylum seeking children in foster care to avoid the “obvious problems” that would arise. “http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200607/jtselect/jtrights/81/8111.htm
Above policy implemented by an IRO-Social Worker/Service Manager of a Child Protection and Review Service

How to avoid looked-after duties and Court Rulings
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2011/01/07/116071/councils-in-breach-of-homeless-youth-ruling-survey-reveals.htm

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simeon3:

 

Can we keep the personal abuse out of this thread please. It’s an interesting topic but it’s in danger of being buried beneath a slanging match.

Thanks

 

I am only human. 

More exposure if a few sparks fly.

There is also more chance of a topic  being buried, if people keep pulling each other up on spelling mistakes.

But I shall be a good boy from now on.

Cheers,

 

Top 10 Contributor

 

Shirack:

 

 

simeon3:

 

Can we keep the personal abuse out of this thread please. It’s an interesting topic but it’s in danger of being buried beneath a slanging match.

Thanks

 

I am only human. 

More exposure if a few sparks fly.

There is also more chance of a topic  being buried, if people keep pulling each other up on spelling mistakes.

But I shall be a good boy from now on.

Cheers,

 

 

 

I agree with this sentiment. Dyslexia aside, many people use English as an additional language – regardless of how a comment is made, I think it is  more important to try and understand the meaning rather that getting entrapped in a corrective pedant mind-set that can silent important voices.

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A direct quote from an I N D E P E N D E N T Review Officer:

“I genuinely believe this will be a better use of resources and will aid
the throughput of work, and enable the workers to concentrate on the
pathway plan rather than wasting time on paperwork for a second review.
In reality it will make little difference to the services provided to
the young people. If i am asked in Court this is what I will say.

Interpretation:

I understand my policy proposals are unlawful and should they end up being tested in Court , my defence will be that a better use of resources is paramount and not law or good practice………………

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Margaret Thatcher got where she did on how she said rather than what. Judge for yourselves witch is the most important.

 

Sorry which.( Freudian)

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Male

Behave Shirak – there is an edit facility.

JoSoPhine is correct in continuing to highlight lack of independence – so what is the answer? It would be interesting to know how many Cases have ever been referred through to CAFCASS by IRO’s and been brought to Court that way.

I think however that as long as IRO’s are employed / funded by Local Authorities that true independence will never be possible.

Top 10 Contributor

 

Rupert M:

 

Behave Shirak – there is an edit facility.

JoSoPhine is correct in continuing to highlight lack of independence – so what is the answer? It would be interesting to know how many Cases have ever been referred through to CAFCASS by IRO’s and been brought to Court that way.

I think however that as long as IRO’s are employed / funded by Local Authorities that true independence will never be possible.

 

 

If an individual  I R O breaches the GSCC Codes of Conduct then they can be informed upon. However, should an unlawful policy or practice be introduced by a local authority and they collude with it  they will have a defense that they were merely complying with the authority’s directives, even if they as an   I R O manager/Social Worker developed the policy. They can provide a nuremberg defense that they were just following the orders of the employer and let us not forget that employers do not a have an enforceable Duty to follow the GSCC Codes of Conduct.

 

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The BASW has a Code of Ethics and The GSCC has a Code of Conduct and now the National Association of Independent Reviewing Officers is developing it’s own [Code of Practice] – surely all of these imply something is rotten in the state of Denmark looked-after children’s IRO services?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 500 Contributor

 

JoSoPhine:

I suggest a simple solution to the current arrangements, remove the ‘I’ from IRO – end of?

IRO’s are representatives of local authorities and accountable for their own practice and those of the local authority. They can’t detach themselves from the fact that they are critical in matters of Quality Assurance for children in Public Care, an area of practice that is marked by systemic and institutional failures.

Local Authorities also  seek to avoid duties that would require the use of IRO’s and are also agents of the policies that discharge children too early, thereby removing any need for an IRO oversight of service provision to children in Public Care.

Evidence of bad practice

Joint Committee On Human Rights”The evidence stated that, contrary to local authority guidance, there was no expectation that children would remain “looked after” unless there was an “exceptional reason” and advised social workers to avoid placing asylum seeking children in foster care to avoid the “obvious problems” that would arise. “http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt200607/jtselect/jtrights/81/8111.htm
Above policy implemented by an IRO-Social Worker/Service Manager of a Child Protection and Review Service

How to avoid looked-after duties and Court Rulings
http://www.communitycare.co.uk/Articles/2011/01/07/116071/councils-in-breach-of-homeless-youth-ruling-survey-reveals.htm

 

 

JoSoPhine – You cant apply a case to all IROs. It is fairly disgraceful to do so. The Hillingdon practice did not and does not take place in the Authority I work for. Similarly, the LA is progressive on homeless youths being looked after.

I take responsibility for the quality of care offered to our lac population.

Dont tar all with the same brush otherwise it looks like you have an axe to grind.

Can we come back to the point that the “Independence” is defined by regulation and guidance and can’t be just what you want it to mean.

Top 500 Contributor

 

JoSoPhine:

A direct quote from an I N D E P E N D E N T Review Officer:

“I genuinely believe this will be a better use of resources and will aid
the throughput of work, and enable the workers to concentrate on the
pathway plan rather than wasting time on paperwork for a second review.
In reality it will make little difference to the services provided to
the young people. If i am asked in Court this is what I will say.

Interpretation:

I understand my policy proposals are unlawful and should they end up being tested in Court , my defence will be that a better use of resources is paramount and not law or good practice………………

 

You really do have an axe to grind on one case.

Top 500 Contributor

 

Rupert M:

Behave Shirak – there is an edit facility.

JoSoPhine is correct in continuing to highlight lack of independence – so what is the answer? It would be interesting to know how many Cases have ever been referred through to CAFCASS by IRO’s and been brought to Court that way.

I think however that as long as IRO’s are employed / funded by Local Authorities that true independence will never be possible.

 

Bringing it to Court is not a measure of success. Getting the practice changed within the LA is a measure of success.

However, I understand that there has been 6-8 referrals (that is – we have met with Chief Executive of said council and are still not happy), with two (?) going to Court.

The valid argument in respect of independence is the purse strings in terms of investment rather than the pay cheque argument, but I struggle to see how that would be resolved in another agency.

Top 10 Contributor

 

JoSoPhine:

 

Rupert M:

 

Behave Shirak – there is an edit facility.

JoSoPhine is correct in continuing to highlight lack of independence – so what is the answer? It would be interesting to know how many Cases have ever been referred through to CAFCASS by IRO’s and been brought to Court that way.

I think however that as long as IRO’s are employed / funded by Local Authorities that true independence will never be possible.

 

 

If an individual  I R O breaches the GSCC Codes of Conduct then they can be informed upon. However, should an unlawful policy or practice be introduced by a local authority and they collude with it  they will have a defense that they were merely complying with the authority’s directives, even if they as an   I R O manager/Social Worker developed the policy. They can provide a nuremberg defense that they were just following the orders of the employer and let us not forget that employers do not a have an enforceable Duty to follow the GSCC Codes of Conduct.

 

If they did have I would not be so concerned about the I in IRO. One or the other has to change. 

Top 10 Contributor
Male

No but they can’t break the law can they? – seems that they can as the DoE states that it is illegal for LAC Children not to have a qualified social worker – so how does Birmingham, for instance, get away with it?

Top 10 Contributor

 

Rupert M:

 

No but they can’t break the law can they? – seems that they can as the DoE states that it is illegal for LAC Children not to have a qualified social worker – so how does Birmingham, for instance, get away with it?

 

 

This practice of not using a Social Worker seems to be for young people aged 16+ and clearly such must be collude with by IROs – and those ‘GP’ style practices for 16+ LAC only seem to require one Social Worker to supervise the allocated workers – workers who don’t need to be Social Workers…. These practices are also Independent and should things go wrong then the commissioning local authority will have someone else to blame.

Top 10 Contributor
Male

Perhaps that’s why they wouldn’t give me an IRO job in Birmingham!!! Why would they want someone who would not collude with bad practice?

Top 10 Contributor

 

Shirack:

Is there any legislation saying IROs must be self employed or agency? If not why not? and if it remains the same should we not drop the “I” knowing how corrupt upper echelons are becoming.

Situation will get even worse under the present government as more and more decisions will become resource availabiltiy dictated, according to budget.   IROs must be independent now more than ever.

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/carespace/forums/iro-enigma-9321.aspx
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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