What is a Child in Care Review Meeting?
A child in care review is a meeting to talk about what has been happening for a child and what plans are being made for them while they are being cared for by someone other than their parents.
The child looked after review meeting will be chaired by an independent person employed by Achieving for Children called an independent reviewing officer.
The first review meeting must happen within four weeks of living away from your parents. There will be a second review meeting after three months and then every six months after that.
We have created a leaflet (opens a pdf) to help explain what a child protection conference is for children and young people.
We have written a leaflet (opens a pdf) that explains being looked after in more detail for older children and young people
Who can go to my Review Meeting?
- Your advocate to help you speak in the meetings if you wish to have one.
- Your parents and anyone else with parental responsibility for you.
- Your social worker
- Your foster carer or residential worker
- Other people who know you.
We will keep the number of people at your review to a minimum so that everyone has the chance to contribute and listen, especially you. Your independent reviewing officer will listen to you about the people you wish to be at your meeting. They can exclude your parents or others from going to your review but must always give well-explained reasons why and make sure they can contribute in other ways.
What happens before a Child Looked After Review Meeting?
We identify who will be your independent reviewing officer as soon as we are told that you need one. The independent reviewing officer will speak to your social worker and agree a date for the first review meeting. Your social worker will advise who needs to be invited and we send invites with details of the meeting.
You will receive a letter from your independent reviewing officer with their photo on it. For children from RBWM these are our independent reviewing officers.
Aarti Raj, Billy Hughes and Grace Olunlade
What happens at a Child in Care Review Meeting?
Review meetings are held where you are living but there might be times when it takes place somewhere else, maybe an office or your school, but we will ask what you think.
Your independent reviewing officer will meet you before your review meeting to gather your wishes. At the meeting we talk about the support you get and the progress you are making. We think about your happiness, health, school, friends, family, what you want to do in the future and where you will live. Your independent reviewing officer will support you to run your own review meeting if you would like.
After the review meeting, your independent reviewing officer will write a letter to remind you of the things that were discussed and agreed. A copy of the letter is sent to everyone else within 20 working days of your meeting.
What if my child has a disability and spends most of their time in residential care or is accessing a lot of respite care?
Some disabled children receive support through short breaks or residential care. Local authorities should undertake an informed assessment of your child’s needs, taking into account parents capacity, wider family and environmental factors to be clear about the legal basis on which these services are provided. A disabled child is looked after if they are in care, accommodated under section 20 of the children act 1989 (voluntarily accommodated), or are accessing short breaks/respite care when any single respite care period lasts for more than 17 days or the total in one year exceeds 75 days.
The role of the independent reviewing officer for a child in a series of short breaks may be more limited than for a child who is looked after longer term. When working with disabled children it is important that our independent reviewing officers are sensitive to the close and active involvement of parents. Given this sensitivity, parents as well as children, can highly value their contribution and independent perspective, especially in helping to resolve any difficulties with the placement. Independent reviewing officers have a responsibility to alert the local authority if the placement is not meeting the child's needs.
You will receive a link to a consultation called My Say. This is a really good way to share information about what you think the review meeting needs to concentrate on. When you complete your My Say consultation it is sent electronically to your independent reviewing officer.
They will use what you have said to think about how they should chair your meeting; things you would like to be discussed at your review and what decisions you would like to be made. You are encouraged to complete a My Say consultation a few weeks before every review and the links are here if you want to complete one now
Parents are sent consultation forms so that they can record their views before the meeting, which they can email back to the independent reviewing officer at firstname.lastname@example.org. These are here if a parent wants to fill one in.