Safeguarding & Reviewing Officer
£46,464 - £49,497 pro rata
20th Jul, 2024
Job description

Job title: Independent Reviewing Officer

Contract: Permanent

Salary: PO5 £46,464.00 - £49,497.96 (pro rata)

Hours: 18.5 hours per week

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Independent Reviewing Officer to join our established and experienced Independent Reviewing Team within the Integrated Safeguarding Unit in Leeds.

You must be a qualified social worker, with at least 5 years post qualifying experience, with substantial experience of work in the field of safeguarding. You should be fully committed to multi-agency partnership work with looked after children and care leavers.

You must be able to demonstrate commitment to ensuring that the needs and views of children and young people are central to all care planning.

You should have a ‘can do’ attitude, be flexible, solution–focussed, and able to make reasoned and evidence-based judgements in relation to social work assessments and plans.   

You must have excellent knowledge and experience of best practice in relation to the requirements of Legislation, Case Law, Care Planning Regulations and the IRO Handbook.

An ability to establish good working relationships with children and families, carers, social work colleagues, managers and staff from other agencies is essential.

We are looking for someone who can work within the principals of restorative practice (high support / high challenge) with a good knowledge and understanding of outcomes focussed practice.

For informal enquiries please contact Sarah Riddell Team Manager on 0113 3782954 or by email at or Janine Craven SDM on 0113 3785371  or at

Closing date for applications is 4pm on Friday 20th July 2024.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. 

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check against the Children’s barred list will be carried out on preferred candidates.

We promote diversity and want a workforce that reflects the population of Leeds and the communities we serve. Leeds City Council is an Inclusive employer, ranked 70 on the Stonewall top 100 employers 2023 list. We are also an Age friendly employer, a Mindful employer and a Disability Confident leader.

All new Leeds City Council appointments are made subject to the satisfactory completion of a six month probationary period. 

This role is based in the UK. Employment is conditional on confirmation of the right to work in the UK  - either as a UK or Irish citizen, under the EU Settlement scheme or having secured any other relevant work visa. If you do not have the right to work in the UK and the role does not meet eligibility for sponsorship, please consider carefully whether you meet the eligibility to apply.

Job purpose 

To fulfil the statutory requirements of the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer for Looked After Children, as set out in the IRO Handbook.


The statutory duties of the IRO are: 

  • To monitor the performance by the local authority of their functions in relation to the child’s care plan. 
  • To participate in the review of the child’s case.
  • To ensure that any ascertained wishes and feelings of the child are given due consideration by the local authority. 
  • To perform any other function prescribed in care planning regulations.
  • To establish relationships with children and young people who are looked after, ascertain their wishes and feelings, and promote the voice of the child.
  • To ensure plans for looked after children are based on a detailed and informed assessment, are up to date, effective and provide a real and genuine response to each child’s needs.
  • To make sure children and young people understand how an advocate could help and know their entitlement to one.  
  • To highlight and prevent any ‘drift’ in care planning for looked after children and the delivery of services to them 
  • To monitor the activity of the local authority as a corporate parent in ensuring care plans have given proper consideration and weight to the child’s wishes and feelings and that, where appropriate, children and young people fully understand the implications of any changes made to their care plan.
  • To confidently challenge any deficits in the quality or delivery of the child’s care plan either informally or through the statutory Dispute Resolution Process.

Chairing of meetings:

  • To chair statutory Looked after Child Reviews and Adoption Reviews in line with regulatory requirements and liaise appropriately with operational staff.
  • As well as reviewing those children placed within the city, to review care plans of children placed out of area, and those in secure accommodation.
  • To chair some other types of reviews e.g.  pathway plans and supervision orders where children have been previously looked after. 

Quality Assurance and Performance Monitoring

  • To collate information arising from reviews relating to policy, practice, resources and inter-agency participation. 
  • To contribute to monitoring reports submitted to Senior Management.
  • To identify and respond to any issues of poor practice and highlight areas of good practice which might be used to support a learning organisation.

Policy and practice 

  • To remain aware of developments in relation to Legislation, Guidance and Regulations and Departmental procedures.
  • To contribute to developing consistency and high standards in the reviewing process.
  • To contribute to practice and performance improvement activities in respect of social work services to children
  • To contribute to departmental and inter-agency training and development activity with regard to subjects relevant to the post.
  • To represent the Independent Reviewing Service on service development projects relevant to the role.


  • Take part in the delivery of training and development activities relevant to the IRO role.
  • To undertake other duties appropriate to the post as required by the Team Manager Safeguarding and Review.
  • Comply with the requirements of all Leeds City Council and Departmental policies, procedures and staff instructions, including responsibilities under the Health and Safety Policy and Procedures.
  • To actively promote and support Leeds City Council's and Departmental Policies on Equal Opportunities and to work in an anti-oppressive manner.


  • The post requires that the post holder is a qualified social worker with five years post qualifying experience. ( CQSW / DipSW/ Degree in Social Work ) and is registered as a social worker with Social Work England.

Essential requirements It is essential that the candidate should be able to demonstrate the following criteria for the post. Candidates will only be shortlisted for interview if they can demonstrate that they meet all the essential requirements.

  • Ability to engage positively and creatively with looked after children and involve children and young people in reviewing their plans.
  • Ability to identify and promote good outcomes for looked after children. 
  • Ability to develop and maintain good relationships with parents and carers of looked after children.
  • Ability to chair multi-disciplinary meetings, ensuring they produce clear recommendations focussed on good outcomes for children. 
  • Ability to identify good, child centred practice in all agencies working with children. 
  • Ability to identify deficits in policies or practice that impact negatively on children (individually or collectively) and present these assertively and clearly to relevant managers.
  • Good organisational, diary management and report- writing skills, and ability to complete work within required timescales.
  • Ability to work with and consult staff at all levels within the organisation using restorative practice principles. 
  • Good IT skills including the ability to interrogate and update children’s care records. 
  • Analytical skills and ability to reflect on own practice, using peer and manager supervision to inform and guide judgements and decision making. 
  • CQSW / DipSw, or equivalent
  • Comprehensive and current knowledge of Legislation, Guidance and Regulations relating to looked after children, care leavers, adoption, safeguarding and child protection.
  • Knowledge of the child care reviewing process and child protection procedures
  • Knowledge of the role of all agencies in delivering good outcomes for looked after children.
  • IROs should have at least five years post-qualifying experience as a social worker including working with looked after children and care leavers.

Essential Behavioural & other Characteristics 

  • Understand and embrace Leeds City Council Values and Behaviours and codes of conduct.
  • Committed to continuous improvement in all areas and work towards delivering the Best City Ambition of Health & Wellbeing, Inclusive Growth and Zero Carbon
  • Able to understand and observe Leeds City Council equality and diversity policies.
  • Carry out all duties having regard to an employee’s responsibility under Health and Safety Policies.
  • Willingness to actively participate in training and development activities. 
  • Flexible and adaptable to change to assist other services as required commensurate to grade. 
  • Participate in appraisal, training, and development activities.
  • Be aware of and comply with Leeds City Council policies and procedures.
  • Be aware of and support difference ensuring equality for all, working in an anti-discriminatory manner, upholding, equality & diversity.  
  • Recognise and appropriately challenge any incidents of racism, bullying, harassment, victimisation, and any form of abuse, reporting any concerns to the appropriate person.
  • The Council has adopted a flexibility protocol and the role will be expected to work within these parameters.

Desirable requirements It is desirable that the candidate should be able to demonstrate the following criteria for the post. Candidates are not required to meet all the desirable requirements however these may be used to distinguish between candidates. 

  • Knowledge of restorative practice and outcomes focussed practice. 
  • Knowledge of the problems of disadvantaged groups.
  • Experience of chairing reviews or planning meetings
  • Experience of staff or student supervision

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