Caring for Children

Provided by the Children's Services Department

Children's Reviews

Children’s reviews are a key part of the planning process for your child. They are a legal requirement and the person who chairs the review is called an Independent Reviewing Officer, which means they are independent of those local authority staff who are responsible for formulating the care plan.

Whilst the care plan for your child is made by the social workers who are working with you and with other people who are significant to the child, it is the responsibility of the reviewing officer to ensure that the care plan for your child is:

  • fair and reasonable
  • appropriate to meet your child’s needs

and that the timescales for your child’s plans are kept to and all the day to day arrangements, including contact, are taken into consideration.

There are requirements about the frequency of reviews but the reviewing officer can require them to be held more frequently if there are concerns about any of the above.

Frequency of reviews

When a child has become ‘looked after’ by the local authority a statutory review must be held within 28 days.

The second review will be held no later than 3 months after the first review.

Subsequent reviews are to be held at no more than 6 monthly intervals, but can be earlier if the Reviewing Officer decides that they should be. (If the child is placed for adoption a review will be held within four weeks of placement and then at three monthly intervals until an adoption order is made.)


We encourage your participation in your child’s review. You may be able to attend unless it is considered not to be in your child’s best interests. The following people must be consulted:

  • The child (if age appropriate)
  • The child’s parents or those people with parental responsibility
  • The child’s carer
  • An independent visitor  (where appropriate)
  • Anyone from relevant agencies such as Health and Education who is involved with the child.

The purpose of the review will be explained to the child and they will be consulted about where they might prefer the review is to be held and who they want to attend.

After the review you will be given a copy of the review minutes, unless your child is placed for adoption in which case you will be informed that the review has taken place and you will be given general information about your child’s progress.