Sir Vince Cable (former MP and Secretary of State for Business)
Vince Cable read Natural Sciences and Economics at Cambridge University, where he was President of the Union, followed by a PhD at Glasgow University.
“I encountered NAIRO as a constituency MP in the context of the valuable work which its members do in the highly sensitive area of vulnerable children. I believe it is important that they should be properly represented and heard.”
The Earl of Listowel
Francis Michael Hare is the 6th Earl of Listowel
Lord Listowel is a long standing supporter of children and social issues. His association with and patronage of NAIRO has resulted in him supporting looked after children’s issues when being asked to vote in the House of Lords. His speeches to the House of Lords can be read here
June Thoburn CBE, Emeritus Professor of Social Work, University of East Anglia
Professor June Thoburn qualified as a Social Worker in 1963 and worked in local authority child and family
John Kemmis, Former Chief Executive, VOICE
Retired CEO of VOICE, John has had a long and distinguished career in Children’s Services spanning local authority and voluntary sectors.
“The creation of the IRO role was a significant step forward to ensure we improved how we planned the care of our children looked after by the state. I was pleased to be able to offer to support the newly formed Association by providing a place where they could meet at Voice. Since those early days NAIRO has grown in size and effectiveness. Working together through the Association members have more strength and can give a stronger voice on behalf of the children they serve. By sharing issues from their work they undoubtedly assist each other to improve practice, including the development of their own practice guidelines. I am proud to be their patron: it is an important body striving to achieve a care system we can be proud of for all our children in care. Politicians and policy makers should listen carefully to the contribution of NAIRO as every day their members are working with the issues facing children in care: they understand the reality for our children in care and what is needed.”
Dr Ray Jones, Emeritus Professor of Social Work, Kingston University
Dr. Ray Jones is Emeritus Professor of Social Work at Kingston University and St. George’s, University of London, and is a registered social worker.
From 1992 to 2006 he was director of social services in Wiltshire, which was consistently given a top national ranking. He was the first chief executive of the Social Care Institute for Excellence, and has been deputy chair and chair of the British Association of Social Workers. From 2008 to 2016 he was professor of social work at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London, where he is now an emeritus professor. He is chair of the charity which organises ‘The Social Worker of the Year Awards’ and is a member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Social Work. He has led inquiries following the deaths of children and adults, from 2009 to 2013 was chair of Bristol’s Safeguarding Children Board, and from 2010 until 2016 oversaw child protection improvement in Salford, Torbay, the Isle of Wight, Sandwell and Devon. His most recent book, ‘The Story of Baby P: Setting the Record Straight’, was published in July 2014, has had three re-prints, and a second up-dated edition was published in February 2017. He is currently writing a major book on ‘The History of the Personal Social Services’ and a book on ‘The Privatisation of Social Work and Child Protection’. He is a frequent media contributor, commentator and columnist.
“The role of the IRO is to be champions for children, bringing a degree of independent scrutiny to child protection and care planning and its implementation. And at a time when some local authorities have a high turn-over of social workers it may only be the IROs who have a consistent social work relationship with, and knowledge about, a child. They are an asset in quality assuring the help a child receives and in helping to give a voice to the child.”
Carolyne Willow, Director Article 39
Carolyne Willow is a registered social worker (qualified in 1988).
Between 2000 and 2012, Carolyne was head of the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, during which time she led the charity’s successful fight for transparency in restraint techniques used in G4S and Serco child prisons and initiated legal action to force the government to notify former child prisoners they had been unlawfully restrained. She was a member of Lord Carlile of Berriew QC’s Inquiry into the use of physical restraint, solitary confinement and forcible strip-searching of children in custody. As Chair of Children’s Rights Officers and Advocates, Carolyne managed the development of the initial Total Respect training materials on children’s rights and participation in care. She was also principal author of the first national guidance on children’s rights and advocacy services, which predated IROs as independent champions of the rights of children in care. She has written several books on children’s rights, the latest being Children Behind Bars, Why the Abuse of Child Imprisonment Must End (Policy Press, 2015).
“Independent reviewing officers play a vital role in protecting the rights of looked after children and care leavers. They are legally empowered to take action to uphold the human rights of children and young people in the care of the state. What a privilege and a responsibility.”