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6. Different ways of writing a Looked After Review

The purpose of a Looked After Review is to ensure that adequate plans are in place to safeguard and promote the overall welfare of Children Looked After (CLA) in the most effective way. The IRO Independent Reviewing Officer is responsible for chairing all reviews and for recording the review. An IRO is usually an experienced social worker.

Read the extracts from two reviews.

  1. What differences do you notice between the two reports in terms of who they address? For example, look at how people are referred to, whether first or third person used, the language used.
  2. What do you think of the differences and why do you think social workers write in different ways?

Review 1

Extract a

This review was held as a series of meetings to ensure a meaningful participation of all attendees and be a child friendly process. The IRO (Independent Reviewing Office) met with the maternal and paternal family and the social worker on (DATE) to discuss the care plan and on a different occasion met with the children separately to ensure that their views, wishes and feelings are heard and considered. The children were seen in their placement by the IRO and opportunity to meet with the IRO in private was provided.

Extract b

Michael enjoys playing football although due to his heart condition, he does become out of breath easily. He enjoys playing with his super heroes and dinosaurs and building with various Lego bricks. He enjoys playing on his uncle’s play station and is allowed to play Sonic the hedgehog game; he is restricted to 1 hour per day. Michael also enjoys having a story read to him and watching various DVDs.

Review 2

Extract a

I met with you and your sisters alone so that you could talk to me in private. I told you what I do and I gave my contact details to Louise in case you need to contact me in between meetings. We agreed that I will call you all in between your meetings to find out how you are progressing. I talked to you about an advocate and your social worker is going to talk to you about whether you want one at your next meeting.Your social worker had prepared you for your meeting, but you did not receive a consultation book. You might have found it helpful to write your views and it would have been kept safely on your file had you completed it. I will make arrangements for one to be sent for your next review.

Extract b

Rachel your social worker said that you would like to return home to your parents but you are happy in your foster placement. You enjoy the food that your foster carer makes and you enjoy going to the library and to the park. You have said that you are not happy living with your elder sister as you say that she is not telling the truth about your parents. You have also said that she hits you and is not nice.