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The Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005

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Independent reviewing officers

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37.—(1) An adoption agency which is—

(a)a local authority; or

(b)a registered adoption society which is a voluntary organisation who provide accommodation for a child,

must appoint a person (“the independent reviewing officer”) in respect of the case of each child authorised to be placed for adoption by the agency to carry out the functions mentioned in section 26(2A) of the 1989 Act.

(2) The independent reviewing officer must be registered as a social worker in a register maintained by the General Social Care Council or by the Care Council for Wales under section 56 of the Care Standards Act 2000 or in a corresponding register maintained under the law of Scotland or Northern Ireland.

(3) The independent reviewing officer must, in the opinion of the adoption agency, have sufficient relevant social work experience to undertake the functions referred to in paragraph (1) in relation to the case.

(4) A person who is an employee of the adoption agency may not be appointed as an independent reviewing officer in a case if he is involved in the management of the case or is under the direct management of—

(a)a person involved in the management of the case;

(b)a person with management responsibilities in relation to a person mentioned in sub-paragraph (a); or

(c)a person with control over the resources allocated to the case.

(5) The independent reviewing officer must—

(a)as far as is reasonably practicable attend any meeting held in connection with the review of the child’s case; and

(b)chair any such meeting that he attends.

(6) The independent reviewing officer must, as far as is reasonably practicable, take steps to ensure that the review is conducted in accordance with regulation 36 and in particular to ensure—

(a)that the child’s views are understood and taken into account;

(b)that the persons responsible for implementing any decision taken in consequence of the review are identified; and

(c)that any failure to review the case in accordance with regulation 36 or to take proper steps to make the arrangements agreed at the review is brought to the attention of persons at an appropriate level of seniority within the adoption agency.

(7) If the child whose case is reviewed wishes to take proceedings on his own account, for example, to apply to the court for revocation of a placement order, it is the function of the independent reviewing officer—

(a)to assist the child to obtain legal advice; or

(b)to establish whether an appropriate adult is able and willing to provide such assistance or bring the proceedings on the child’s behalf.

(8) The adoption agency must inform the independent reviewing officer of—

(a)any significant failure to make the arrangements agreed at a review; and

(b)any significant change in the child’s circumstances after a review.

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