It is expected that as you are preparing to leave care, and after leaving care, you will be involved in agreeing and reviewing your Pathway Plan. Your Pathway Plan is important as it will look at the things that are important to you in moving to independence such as:
- being ready to leave care,
- where you live
- money management
- looking after yourself
- training issues
Your Pathway Plan is also your proof of the support that Children’s Services have agreed to provide you.
An Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) is independent of Children’s Social Work Services. It is the IRO’s job to make sure that all the things that are agreed in your Care Plan are being done. They do this by holding regular REVIEW meetings with you and the people who care for you.
Did you know that YOU can CHAIR your own Review meeting. Ask your social worker or IRO about doing this.
You should know who your IRO is before your first Review but if you don’t know (or are not sure) you can:-
- Ask your social worker to find out
- Ring this Number 0121 788 4310
- Email email@example.com
- Contact us.
When you are in care someone has to be responsible for checking that the things agreed in your Care Plan are actually happening, and, that the people supporting you are doing everything they should be doing.
Your Review meeting is an opportunity to discuss what has happened since you came into care, how things have moved forward since your last Review meeting and to plan for the future.
Your first Review happens within 4 weeks of you coming into care. You will have another Review after 3 months and then every 6 months after that. If there are major changes proposed to your Care Plan, a Review can be arranged in between these times. You can also ask for another Review meeting yourself if you think one is needed.
Your IRO will arrange for the people who support you and look after you to meet together (with yourself preferably) so they can find out how things are going for you. Your IRO will make sure that:-
- Your social worker and other people involved in your care are continuing to support you as agreed in your Care Plan.
- Your social worker is seeing you regularly.
- You are happy where you are living, that your carer is looking after you.
- You are able to see friends, and other people who are important to you, as well as taking part in hobbies or activities as agreed.
- You are fit and healthy, that you see a doctor and dentist when you need to and that you understand what happens at your annual “Health Assessment”
- Everything is going well with your education, you are getting help at school, you have somewhere to do your homework and that you have all the equipment you need for your school work.
- The plan for your care is still right for you.
Yes you can!
It is YOUR Review; it’s all about YOU and what is happening in YOUR life, (the good stuff and the not so good stuff). You are the most important person at your Review and the people there will be talking with you not about you.
Review meetings give you the chance to tell people how you feel about things, for example what has been difficult, what extra help you think you need, what has gone well and what you are upset about. You can let everyone know what you have been doing, what you have achieved and what you want to do and achieve in future.
You do not have to be at your Review and no one can make you go if you don’t want to. BUT it is really important that your IRO knows what your views are so they can make sure the right things happen for you.
Before you have your Review your social worker, or carer, can help you to think about what you want and help you to express your thoughts and feelings. This could even be in the form of a scrapbook, poem, song lyrics, and photographs, anything that could be read out or shown at your Review that tells people what you think. You can also ask for an Advocate.
This is YOUR Review so it is important that it happens somewhere you feel comfortable and at a time that is best for you. This will help you feel at ease and able to talk to the people who come to your Review.
Before your Review your IRO will talk to you and agree:-
- Where your Review will be held
- Who should be invited to the Review
- What time the Review will be
- How you want the Review to be run and what you want to do
- What needs to be discussed.
The people who could be invited to your Review include:-
- Your parents
- Your carer or key worker
- Your social worker
- Someone from your school / college
- Your Advocate
- A health worker
Your social worker and your IRO have to be at your Review. If there is someone who you do not want to come to your Review tell your IRO and you can discuss whether they should be there.
You can also ask for someone you trust to be invited to support you at the Review.
your Review is about YOUR life so it is very important that you get your voice heard in all the decisions that are made about your future.