The aim of this study is to provide an evidence base about the way the role of the IRO operates in order to inform future policy and practice.
The research involved: national surveys of IROs, their managers and Directors of Children Services (DCSs); analysis of inquiries from IROs to independent advice services; an analysis of resources need for the IRO service; case studies of four local authorities, including analysis of care plans, interviews and focus groups with IROs, social workers, other key professionals and looked after children.
It demonstrates two things. First, it is essential that IROs are given proper status and resources within local authorities. Second, they must use their unique position to fight the corner of the children for whom they are responsible.