This Ofsted survey report evaluates the effectiveness of independent reviewing officers in discharging their responsibilities towards looked after children. Inspectors visited a sample of 10 local authority areas. The report draws on evidence from 111 cases as well as the views of children and young people, carers, and professionals from the local authorities and from partner agencies.
A local authority that fails in its duties to a looked after child can be challenged under the Human Rights Act 1998, most likely under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights relating to family life. Some children, who do not have an adult who can
act on their behalf may not be able to challenge the local authority on this.
The government has, therefore, made it a legal requirement for an independent reviewing officer to be appointed, who can participate in case reviews, monitor the local authority’s performance in respect of reviews, and consider whether it would be appropriate to refer cases to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass).