The government has rejected a recommendation to give local authorities the freedom to scrap independent reviewing officers as it announces a suite of new measures to give foster carers more confidence in managing placements.

The initiatives, announced  by the Department for Education, come as part of the government’s response to the fostering stocktake and education select committee’s inquiry into fostering. The stocktake controversially recommended local authorities having the freedom to scrap the independent reviewing officer role as a cost-saving exercise. However, the government rejected this, saying in its response: “We will work with organisations representing Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) and [local authorities] to consider how the role of IROs can be put to best effect in the current system and under existing legislation.”

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