IRO services for children looked after

Edward Rudolf made this Freedom of Information request to London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Barking & Dagenham Borough Council,

The information requested

This request seeks information about the independent review officer function for statutory reviews of children looked after by the authority. This information is requested for multiple time periods.

A. Personnel on date

1. Number of staff, in whole time equivalents (WTE), employed by the authority as IROs. This includes staff on permanent and fixed term contracts;
2. Number of people (WTE) engaged as IROs by the authority through a staffing agency;
3. Number of people (persons) approved by the authority to perform IRO functions who are neither employed nor engaged by the authority through an agency

Exclude personnel supervising or administering the activities of IROs.

This information should be provided as at one day of the year, for example 30 September. Please state which date has been used in the response.

B. Activity in year

Number of statutory reviews carried out in year by:

4. Staff employed by the authority as IROs on permanent and fixed term contracts;
5. People engaged by the authority through a staffing agency as IROs;
6. People approved by the authority to perform IRO functions that are neither employed nor engaged by the authority through an agency.

C. Expenditure in year

Expenditure, excluding payments for mileage and subsistence, on statutory review activity undertaken by:

7. Staff permanently employed by the authority as IROs. This includes staff on permanent and fixed term contracts;
8. People engaged by the authority through a staffing agency as IROs; and,
9. People approved by the authority to perform IRO functions who are neither employed nor engaged by the authority through an agency

Definitions

Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)

An IRO is employed or retained by the authority and performs the following tasks:
• chairs the authority’s looked after children reviews;
• monitors the authority’s review of the care plan; and
• where necessary, refers cases to the Children and Families Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) to take legal action as a last resort if the failure to implement the care plan might be considered to breach the child’s human rights.

If staff undertaking IRO duties carry out roles in addition to statutory reviews, for example, chairing child protection case conferences, pro rata the total number of WTE to reflect the proportion of time spent on children looked after.

Personnel supervising or administering the activities of IROs are excluded from this request.

Children looked after

‘Children looked after’ refers to children and young people who are:
• in an adoptive placement, prior to an adoption order, are covered by the legislation.
• subject of a care order (under section 31 of the Children Act 1989);
• voluntarily accommodated for a period of more than 24 hours (section 20 of the Children Act 1989), including those described in Short Break Care;
• placed for adoption under the Adoption and Children Act 2002; or,
• compulsorily looked after such as those remanded by the court to the local authority accommodation.

Statutory reviews

Statutory reviews are meetings chaired by an IRO which considers the plan for the welfare of the child, monitors the progress of the plan and make decisions to amend the plan as necessary in the light of changed knowledge and circumstances.

Frequency of reviews

Under the provisions of the Review of Children’s Cases Regulations (1991)3 local authorities are required to review the case of any child who is Looked After or provided with accommodation as follows:
• first review must take place within 28 days of the date upon which the child begins to be looked after or provided with accommodation;
• second review must be carried out no later than 3 months after the first review;,
• subsequent reviews shall be carried out not more than 6 months after the date of the previous review; and,
• reviews may be brought forward under certain circumstances

Years

All ‘annual’ data should be provided for financial years, i.e. 1 April to 31 March of succeeding year.

All ‘date’ data should be provided for one date in the financial year e.g. 31 March.

Expenditure

Expenditure excludes payments for travel and subsistence.

Expenditure includes:
• salaries and employer on-costs for staff employed by the authority on permanent and fixed term contracts;
• fees paid to staffing agencies as well as remuneration to individuals;
• fees paid to people approved by the authority to perform IRO functions that are neither employed nor engaged by the authority.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Rudolf

Freedom of Information, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

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confirmation that your email has been received.
An officer of the council will shortly be in touch with you.


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Dear Barking & Dagenham Borough Council,

The time periods covered by this request are 2006/07, 2007/08, 2008/09 and 2009/10.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Rudolf

Freedom of Information, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

Thank you for contacting the Freedom of Information (FOI) Team this is
confirmation that your email has been received.
An officer of the council will shortly be in touch with you.


Working together for a better borough that is safe, clean, fair and
respectful,
Prosperous and healthy, and where our young people are inspired and
successful.
Protect the environment and save trees; please only print if essential

E-mail confidentiality notice. This message is intended for the addressees only. It may be private, confidential and may be covered by legal professional privilege or other confidentiality requirements. If you are not one of the intended recipients, please notify the sender immediately on +44 0 20-8215-3000 and delete the message from all locations in your computer network. Do not copy this email or use it for any purpose or disclose its contents to any person:to do so maybe unlawful.

ahmed remi, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

Dear Edward Rudolf

Thank you for your e-mail received 12 November 2010 requesting information regarding the independent review officer function for statutory reviews of children looked after by the authority.

Michael Fenn in children Services will arrange for the information to be provided to you no later than 10/12/2010.

Whilst it is the Council's policy to provide information wherever possible, I need to advise you that there are a number of exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. These may prevent me from releasing all or some of the information you have asked for. You will, however be informed if this is the case and why.

Yours sincerely

Remi Ahmed
Corporate Complaints & FOI Team
Barking and Dagenham Direct
London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
2nd Floor Roycraft House
Linton Road Barking
IG11 8HE
Phone: 020 8227 5788
Fax: 020 8227 5184

E-mail confidentiality notice. This message is intended for the addressees only. It may be private, confidential and may be covered by legal professional privilege or other confidentiality requirements. If you are not one of the intended recipients, please notify the sender immediately on +44 0 20-8215-3000 and delete the message from all locations in your computer network. Do not copy this email or use it for any purpose or disclose its contents to any person:to do so maybe unlawful.

Fenn Michael, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council

Dear Edward Rudolf

Request for information LBBD:50369

Your request for information has now been considered and the information
is below;

This request seeks information about the independent review officer
function for statutory reviews of children looked after by the authority.
This information is requested for multiple time periods.

A. Personnel on date

1. Number of staff, in whole time equivalents (WTE), employed by the
authority as IROs. This includes staff on permanent and fixed term
contracts;

As of the 1.12.10 there was 5 IRO's employed by the London Borough of
Barking and Dagenham and 2 vacancies on permanent and fixed term contracts

2. Number of people (WTE) engaged as IROs by the authority through a
staffing agency;

As of the 1.12.10 there was 1 IRO engaged through a staffing agency

3. Number of people (persons) approved by the authority to perform IRO
functions who are neither employed nor engaged by the authority through an
agency

As of the 1.12.10 there was 6 people by the authority to perform IRO
functions who are neither employed nor engaged by the authority through an
agency

Exclude personnel supervising or administering the activities of
IROs.

This information should be provided as at one day of the year, for
example 30 September. Please state which date has been used in the
response.

B. Activity in year

Number of statutory reviews carried out in year by:

4. Staff employed by the authority as IROs on permanent and fixed
term contracts;

5. People engaged by the authority through a staffing agency as IROs;

6. People approved by the authority to perform IRO functions that are
neither employed nor engaged by the authority through an agency.

In the year 09/10 there were 378 children in care in Barking and Dagenham
plus 27 children who received episodes of respite care. In order for us to
breakdown these reviews into the categories requested would exceed the
maximum charge for dealing with FOI request, which is £450 per request.
The limit of £450 equates to 18 hours work @ £25/hr.

C. Expenditure in year

Expenditure, excluding payments for mileage and subsistence,
on statutory review activity undertaken by:

7. Staff permanently employed by the authority as IROs. This includes
staff on permanent and fixed term contracts;

From April 09 to March 10 the approximate expenditure for
Staff permanently employed by the authority as IROs was £375,000

8. People engaged by the authority through a staffing agency as IROs;
and,

From April 09 to March 10 the approximate expenditure for
People engaged by the authority through a staffing agency as IROs was
£45,000

9. People approved by the authority to perform IRO functions who are
neither employed nor engaged by the authority through an agency

From April 09 to March 10 the approximate expenditure for people
approved by the authority to perform IRO functions who are neither
employed nor engaged by the authority through an agency was £50,000

If you need any more information, or if I can be of any further help,
please contact me.

If you are not satisfied with the way that I have dealt with your request
you can make a complaint by writing to the Corporate Complaints & FOI
Team, Room 104, Town Hall, 1 Town Square, Barking IG11 7LU. Alternatively
you can make your complaint on-line at [1]www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk or
you can e-mail your complaint to [2][Barking & Dagenham Borough Council request email].

If you are still not satisfied, after following our Corporate Complaints
procedure, you can take your complaint to the Information Commissioner.
Full details of how to do this will be made available on request.

Yours sincerely

Michael Fenn | Senior Information Officer

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham | Room B34 Civic Centre | Dagenham
| RM10 7BY

Phone: 020 8227 2619 | Fax: 020 8227 2324

Email: Michael.Fenn[3]@lbbd.gov.uk | [4]www.barking-dagenham.gov.uk

Working together for a better borough that is safe, clean, fair and
respectful,

prosperous and healthy, and where our young people are inspired and
successful.

P Protect the environment and save trees; please only print if essential

E-mail confidentiality notice. This message is intended for the addressees
only. It may be private, confidential and may be covered by legal
professional privilege or other confidentiality requirements.  All
communications sent to or from this organisation may be subject to
recording or monitoring in accordance with relevant legislation.  If you
are not one of the intended recipients, please notify the sender
immediately on +44 0 20-8215-3000 and delete the message from all
locations in your computer network. Do not copy this email or use it for
any purpose or disclose its contents to any person: to do so maybe
unlawful.

References

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