‘Poor foster placements must be opposed’

Social workers and independent reviewing officers must challenge poor placements of fostered children, delegates were told.

Independent reviewing officers (IROs) have the power to ensure councils stick to care plans but as of November had passed no cases to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service since they were introduced in September 2004.

Fostering Network chief executive Robert Tapsfield said the impact of IROs, who are employed by councils, had been “hugely disappointing”.

He said young people and their social workers were often subject to poor decision-making on placements and needed IROs to stand up for them.

Baaf Adoption and Fostering chief executive Felicity Collier said poor placements could not be excused even if there were financial problems, and added that social workers also had to oppose them.

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