A child's wishes and feelings should be ascertained before making decisions affecting them and their care, and a written record of their wishes and feelings should be maintained - as stipulated in section 22 of the 1989 Children's Act.
The guidance and regulations available in the associated resources on this page, are to help ensure local authorities consider this at a strategic level - both through the directors for children's services and council lead members for corporate parenting and through high quality Independent Reviewing Services.
The Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) handbook has been developed to provide information on the local authority's responsibility for managing their IRO service. The enhanced role of the IRO needs to tackle the every day practice elements of ensuring a child’s wishes and feelings are taken into account during their review.
This guidance clarifies the role of the IRO in providing constructive challenge to local authorities to ensure actions agreed as part of care plans are carried out, and a child’s wishes and feelings are taken in to account during case reviews.
Training materials on taking the voice of the child into account can be downloaded from the associated resources on this page.
A report of children's views - published by the Children's Rights Director for England.
PDF, 1 Mb
Children in Care Council mapping project report.
PDF, 509 Kb
Information for IRO's on supporting those with additional communication needs.
Word, 355 Kb
This document provides guidance on the delivery of a training course to ensure that the wishes and feelings of children and young people are taken into account during the care planning process.
Word, 220 Kb
This Powerpoint presentation provides slides for a training course to ensure that the wishes and feelings of children and young people are taken into account during the care planning process.
PowerPoint, 495 Kb
Written by the Office of the Children's Rights Director - this guide is to help explain to children and young people, the details contained in the IRO handbook, and what IRO’s should be doing for them.
PDF, 1 Mb
Getting the best from complaints: social care complaints and representations for children, young people and others This guidance is for local authority children’s services on complaints procedures. Although this is an archived document - published by Department for Education and Skills - it remains current and the regulations which it accompanies (The Children Act 1989 Representations Procedure (England) Regulations 2006) remain in effect.
This statutory guidance describes how IROs and local authorities should discharge their distinct responsibilities to looked after children, with regard to care planning and case review. It also provides guidance for local authorities on their strategic and managerial responsibilities in establishing an effective IRO service. Please note: the IRO Handbook replaces the 2004 guidance – Independent Reviewing Officers’ Guidance: Adoption and Children Act 2002.
Guidance for local authorities on providing effective advocacy for children making a complaint under the Children Act 1989.
This guidance is for local authorities (LAs) in England with responsibility for education and children’s social services functions. It replaces the previous versions, issued in 2005 and 2009.