Decision details

Annual Report of the Independent Reviewing Service and Safeguarding Unit: Annual Care Planning Audit

Decision status: Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To consider a report from the Director of Children's Services, regarding an update on the Independent Reviewing Service and Safeguarding Unit


The Panel received a report from the Director of Children’s Services which provided an update of the work of the Independent Reviewing Service (IRS) and Safeguarding Unit. The report was accompanied by the annual audit of care plans and care planning for children looked after by the authority.

The Panel heard that the performance of the IRS and Safeguarding Unit remained strong and the Care Plan Audit highlights many positive areas. However there are some areas that require improvement in relation to planning for children for whom the authority has a corporate parenting responsibility.

The Panel heard that the IRS had a high workload but the number of Children on Child Protection or Child Looked After Plans remained stable. Currently, 80% of reviews are being completed on time with the remainder being only days late meaning there is no risk of drift. A recent Bright Spots survey found that Hampshire children who are looked after are happy although there were concerns from some 8 to 11 year olds around bullying at school..


In response to questions members heard that;

  • Less than 2% of children had signed their plan and only four had been signed by the parents. Officers explained that this was not the only indicator of engagement and is not considered a key indicator. It was also noted that signing a Plan was hard to achieve practically but it was thought that new technology will improve this.
  • The Care Plan Audit was for all Hampshire looked after children, including those placed outside of Hampshire borders or with a private agency. The Audit did not include children from other local authorities being looked after within Hampshire.
  • There were differences in the audit outcomes between the East and the West of the county which are being addressed by Children’s Services management.


Resolved: That the Children and Families Advisory Panel;

  • Note the continuing sound work of the Independent Reviewing Service and Safeguarding Unit.


  • Note the outcomes of the annual audit of Care Plans and Care Planning for Hampshire’s ‘Looked After’ children.


Publication date: 06/11/2017

Date of decision: 17/10/2017

Decided at meeting: 17/10/2017 - Children and Families Advisory Panel

Accompanying Documents: