Who's who?

There are lots of people at the council who help and support children and young people in care, but its tricky to know who everyone is and what they do and how to contact them. Here's a who's who to help you understand the roles.

Social worker

Your social worker provides support to you and your family during your time in care. Your social worker should make sure you're doing OK and that you're being looked after properly. When you first come into care, your social worker will meet with you and write you up a Care Plan. If you've got any problems, you can talk to your social worker. They should be able to help you understand any decisions made about your life. Sometimes there may be decisions made that you don't agree with. Talk to your social worker as they won't know there is anything wrong if you don't tell them. 

If you're unhappy with the social work service, you can contact an advocate and they can help you to resolve any problems.

Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO)

Your IRO chairs your review meetings and makes sure your Care Plan meets your needs. They can also help you have your voice heard. Every child or young person in care should have an IRO and your IRO should stay the same if possible. Your IRO should listen to you, and you can talk to your IRO about how you want your review meetings to take place and how you'd like to contribute to your review meetings.


Advocates can support you to express your views and have your voice heard. Find out more about advocates on the advocacy page.

Independent Visitor

Independent Visitors (IVs) are adults who share their time with young people who are in care. IVs are completely separate from Children's Social Care and there just for you. Your IV doesn't replace your carer or social worker, but is another person to support you. You can do lots of fun activities with your IV! 

If you would like an IV, get in touch with jean.harris@york.gov.uk or alison.cammiss@york.gov.uk

Pathway Worker

When you turn 17, you will be allocated a pathway worker. Your pathway worker is there to support you when you turn 18 and leave care. Your pathway worker will keep in contact and arrange meetings with you; they will visit you at home and also arrange to meet you in the community. Your pathway worker will provide you with advice, information and guidance to help you make the best choices and decisions. The relationship between you and your pathway worker is important; make the most of the support they can offer.

You are entitled to support from a pathway worker until you are 25. The amount of support that you receive from your pathway worker will depend on what you want and your circumstances.