Skip to main content

Liverpool Safeguarding and Quality Assurance Unit

Independent Reviewing Officers (IRO's) Child Protection Conference Chairs

Independent Reviewing Officers and Child Protection Conference Chairs Chair Child Protection Conference, Looked after Children Case Reviews along with other specialist strategy meetings. 

Child Protection Conference

Initial Child Protection Conference

An Initial Child Protection Conference is normally convened at the end of a Section 47 Enquiry when the child is assessed as either having suffered Significant Harm or to be at risk of suffering ongoing significant harm.

The Initial Child Protection Conference should be held within 15working days of the Strategy Discussion, or the last strategy discussion if more than one has been held.

The purpose of the conference is to:

  • Share and analyse, in a multi- agency setting, the information obtained during assessment and Section 47 Enquiries, information about the child’s health, development and functioning, about the parent’s ability to respond to the needs of the child, to ensure the child’s safety and promote the child’s health and development;
  • Make judgements about the likelihood of a child suffering Significant Harm in the future and decide whether the child is at an increased likelihood of suffering Significant Harm;
  • Decide what future action is required to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child, how that action will be taken forward and with what intended outcomes;
  • Where the child is considered to be at risk of continuing Significant Harm, a Child Protection Plan must be agreed, specifying what action is required to reduce the risk to the child;
  • Where the child is not considered to be suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm, a Child In Need plan should be agreed, specifying the action to be taken to support the family in meeting the needs of the child;

Child Protection Review Conference

Child Protection Review Conferences are convened in relation to children who are already subject to a Child Protection Plan. The first review conference is normally convened three months after a Child Protection Plan is first drawn up, then at intervals of not more than six months.

The purpose of the Review Conference is to review the safety, health and development of the child in view of the Child Protection Plan, to ensure that the child continues to be adequately safeguarded and to consider whether the Child Protection Plan should continue or change or whether it can be discontinued.

Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)

If a Local Authority is looking after a child, it must appoint an Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) for that child’s case. The name of the IRO and his/her contact details must be recorded on the child’s case record.

There are two clear and separate aspects to the function of the IRO: chairing a child's review -, and monitoring a child's case on an ongoing basis including whether any safeguarding issues arise.

As part of the monitoring function, the IRO also has a duty to identify any areas of poor practice, including general concerns around service delivery/collective experience of looked after children (not just around individual children).

The IRO should immediately alert senior managers if any such areas are identified.

Looked After Children Who Have SEND

The Care Planning Regulations specify the frequency with which Care Plans are reviewed. It is important where ever possible to ensure the annual review of an EHC plan coincides with one of the child’s Care Plan reviews. This could be done as part of the review of a child’s PEP which feeds into the review of the wider Care Plan. Social workers and SEN teams will need to work closely together to ensure that transitions from being looked after to returning home are managed effectively, to ensure continuing provision.

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

Local authorities should identify designated officers (referred to as the LADO) to be involved in the management and oversight of individual cases of allegations of abuse made against those who work with children as set out in the Allegations against People who Work with Children Procedure.

Their role is to give advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations; liaise with the Police and other agencies, and monitor the progress of cases to ensure that they are dealt with as quickly as possible consistent with a thorough and fair process.

It is essential that any allegation of abuse made against a professional who works with children and young people or other member of staff or volunteer in any setting is reported to careline within one working day and is dealt with fairly, quickly, and consistently, in a way that provides effective protection for the child and at the same time supports the person who is the subject of the allegation.

Child Employment and Performance

Children must have a permit for part-time work or an entertainment performance licence if they appear in a production.

Child Employment Permits

Children aged between 13 and school leaving age - the last Friday in June in school year 11 - must have a child employment permit if they work for a profit-making organisation, whether they are paid or not. 

There are restrictions on the type of work children can do.

Child Performance Licences

Any child under the school leaving age, which is at the end of year 11, must have an entertainment performance licence to appear in film, TV, theatre, singing, dancing or modelling productions or apply for an exemption.

These performances include:

  • Films meant for broadcast.
  • Internet or video commercials.
  • Performances on licensed premises or to a paying audience.
  • Dancing and singing competitions.
  • Amateur productions.
  • Any performance that requires time off school.
  • Any performance where a child is being paid including sporting events.

You can apply for an exemption if:

  • The child has been in no more than three performances in the last six months, won’t be taking take time off school and won’t be paid or filmed for broadcast.
  • The organiser of the production has Body of Person Approval (BOPA) from the local authority or Secretary of State for Education.

A child’s school can stop a licence being issued if they believe the performance will affect the child’s education, health or welfare.  

Licensed Chaperones

Who needs a chaperone?

All children must be chaperoned by a parent, legal guardian or a local authority licensed chaperone when working as a performer. If a child is not being accompanied by a parent, a local authority licensed chaperone must be named before a child entertainment licence can be granted.

Other relatives can't chaperone a child unless they are licensed as a chaperone by the council where they live. 

What does a chaperone do?

A chaperone makes sure that a child does not work without breaks, that education is provided if needed and that their safety, comfort and welfare is taken care of.