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My review meetings

What is a Review meeting?

When you are looked after, the law says Social Care must review your care plan and what is happening in your life within four weeks of your coming into care, then after three months and then every 6 months to make sure that you are being cared for and given the best opportunities. This meeting is called a review. The review is run by someone that is independent to your situation. They are called an Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO). The Independent reviewing officer is independent of your social worker. It is their job to make sure that everyone that comes to the meeting has a fair say – especially you because this meeting is about you and your life! It is also their job to check that you are being well cared for.

Who will be at my Review?

  • An Independent Reviewing Officer
  • Your Social Worker
  • Your Foster carer/guardian/key workers
  • If it is safe, your parents
  • Sometimes someone from your school/college
  • Sometimes someone from health

You can tell your social worker or foster carer if there is anyone that you do not want to be at your Review meeting – or if there is someone else you want to invite.

Do I have to go to my Review?

This is a meeting about you, and about how you are being cared for.  It makes sense that you should be there to tell us what is happening! 

No-one can make you go to these meetings if you really don’t want to.  You don’t have to stay for the whole meeting if you don’t want to.  If there is a reason that you don’t want to go, maybe you could let the IRO know what is happening in a different way.

There are lots of different ways that you can have your say for your review meeting:

  • Come to the meeting
  • fill in the review consultation form
  • text the Independent Review Officer
  • ring the Independent Review Officer before the review
  • write a letter to the Independent Review Officer
  • see the Independent Review Officer in person before the review in private
  • Make an audio or video tapeetting out your views
  • Use a CD Rom or computer programme
  • Invite an advocate to come to the review tput forard your views

Can I bring a friend?

Did you know that you can ask to bring a friend or advocate to your review meeting to support you and help you to say what you think and feel.  If you want to bring someone to your next review meeting you can tell your Social Worker.

How can I have my say about what’s happening in my life?

Before your review meeting you can meet with the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO) on your own (or with a friend or advocate if you want!) about your wishes and feelings about how you are being looked after and what plans are being made for your future care.  You can also tell them about any worries that you have. 

Before your review meeting you will be sent a review consultation form which has questions about what is happening in your life.  This was written and designed by other children and young people who are looked after to make sure it is more helpful.  You can fill in this form and send it to your IRO so that they can get an idea about your views and wishes, and what is happening in your life. 

After your review meeting, your IRO should send you a copy of what was talked about, and what they have decided needs to happen to continue to care for you well. 

Here is a message from the Independent Reviewing Team:

We want every review to be…

  • Your review
  • Open atmosphere - we want you to be able to tell us your wishes and feelings
  • U-centred - this is your meeting
  • Relaxed
  • Relevant - about you and your life.
  • Environmentally friendly - this is about you – we don’t want it to be about paperwork!
  • Venue – you tell us where you want to have your review meeting
  • Interesting
  • Easy – we want you to feel comfortable at all times.
  • Well done – we want to celebrate all the good things you have been doing.


  • We really want you to have your say because this meeting is about you and your life.  If you think there is something we can do better to help you do that – please let us know.
  • Think about what you might like to talk about at your review meeting.  Sometimes it helps to write down things you want to talk about so that you remember everything on the day.  You can also think about who you want to be there.
  • If you can’t come to your review meeting – you can ask them to change the meeting time so that you can attend.  If you can’t for some reason please tell your Social Worker how you would like to give your views so that they can take them into account.  You could send them an e-mail, talk to them on the telephone, record your views on a tape and send it in, text the reviewing officer, fill in the Review Consultation form, draw them a picture, or type your views on the computer.  Remember – it is very important for you to tell them about what is happening in your life because they decide things about how you will be looked after at this meeting.
  • It is important that you feel comfortable and can be yourself in the review.  How can we help you with this? (have your say in the discussion forum, log in here)
  • Have you said what you think about your Mother/Father or other members of your family attending your review?  You can talk to your Social Worker about this.
  • If you have some difficulties with language, or a visual or hearing impairment or other disability, it is VERY important that you still let us know what is happening in your life.  What arrangements can we make to assist you?  Your social worker should work with you and your carer/key worker/guardian to get your views, wishes and feelings.
  • Don’t forget – your review meeting is also a chance to celebrate your achievements and the good things that have been happening.

What will happen after the Review meeting?

  • You should get a copy of what was said in the meeting and all decisions that were made (this is called a Review report and is sent to you by the Independent Reviewing Officer - IRO).  Do you usually see the report and decisions from the review meeting?  Have your say in the discussion forum!
  • Did you know that you can ask for your review report to be translated into another language or format e.g. larger print
  • If you forget to say something in your review, ask your Social Worker or foster carer to pass it on to the IRO or email or textthem your self

The Independent Reviewing Officers want to know what you think about your review meetings.  You can tell them by writing to them or ringing them, or you can have your say here in the discussion forum (login here).

If you need to speak to your IRO and you do not have their mobile number telephone our admin number on 0207 926 8521 and you will be put through to the duty IRO who will be able to help you. .