- The fostering panel is made up of a team of experts in the field of fostering including staff members from Family Fostering Partners as well as independent members.
- They are responsible for making recommendations regarding new applications, reviews, de-registering and any other formal complaints that may occur.
- You will be well prepared for your visit to the fostering panel by the link worker who is supporting you with your application.
What is the fostering panel?
Every fostering agency must have a fostering panel. The panel is independent to the fostering agency and is there to provide objectivity and fairness, ensuring ongoing compliance with fostering rules and regulations. The panel is made up of a board of skilled people who meet to make recommendations on key decisions regarding:
- Who will be accepted as an approved registered carer as well as guidance on the type of care they can provide.
- Reviewing existing carers and their ongoing suitability through an annual review.
- De-registering carers who may no longer comply with regulation or wish to continue.
- To give advice and recommendations on any issues that may be presented to the panel, including any serious allegations made towards a foster carer.
When you have completed your Form F assessment with assistance from your Senior Supervising Social Worker, your completed application will be presented to the panel. The panel is made up of a diverse group of experts including Family Fostering Partners staff members, independent members as well as those who have direct experience in fostering, either through being a carer themselves or having been fostered.
You will be invited to the fostering panel assessment and you will be asked some questions regarding your application. This is to help the panel get a better understanding of you and your application and it gives you an opportunity to raise any issues or questions yourself. It may seem scary or daunting but remember that your assessing social worker will be with you the whole time to provide support and guidance.
Preparing to meet the panel
All new carers will have their application presented to the panel. You will be prepped on what to expect at the panel by the link worker who has been assessing you for your application. You should think of the panel like any normal job interview. We understand that you may be nervous and we will do what we can to make you feel comfortable and reassured. Members of the panel will just want to clarify any points from your application or iron out a few issues. Those who apply to foster with Family Fostering Partners are from different walks of life and have differing experiences, we take the time to get to know each applicant. The panel is the perfect opportunity to get to know you better!
All independent fostering agencies will have an agency decision maker. This person is solely responsible for making the final decision regarding your application. They will receive a copy of your application as well as minutes from the fostering panel and they will listen to any thoughts or recommendations the panel has. It will then be up to that person to make the final decision.
Decision options include:
If you are approved... then congratulations! You are now a registered foster parent with Family Fostering Partners. You are now ready to progress in your role and move on to the matching stage. We will ensure that you will be kept in the loop about any decisions regarding your first placement and how to prepare.