The fostering panel is made up of people with a range of skills, knowledge and experience and includes staff members from UK Fostering. Some of our panel members have a professional background in child or social care, and others have direct experience with the fostering process, either through being a foster carer themselves or through being fostered in the past. Our panel members also have access to legal and medical advice should they need it as well as each other’s skills and expertise.
What do fostering panels do?
A fostering panel will have the following duties:
• To consider fostering applications and make recommendations about the suitability of applicants. This also includes making recommendations about the number, age range and backgrounds of the children placed with carers.
• To review the continued suitability of foster carers
• To consider any serious complaint or allegation against a foster carer.
• To ensure the fostering provider (UK Fostering) works to certain standards
What happens at the Fostering Panel?
The fostering applicant and their assessing social worker will usually be invited to attend the panel. This would normally take place as part of a number of other fostering assessments taking place that day. You would normally be asked to wait outside the panel room until called. The assessing social worker should be called in first to present your application and his/her assessment to the panel. The panel will then ask you to come in and may ask you a few further questions linked to the assessment that they have read and your assessing social workers’ presentation.
Following the questions asked by the panel, and any questions you may want to ask yourself, you will be asked to leave the room whilst the panel make their recommendations. They will then call you back to inform you of their decision. Decisions will range from:
• Recommendation for approval
• Rejection of the application
• Deferral whereby they would like further information collected before they can make their decision.
How long will the application take?
We aim to complete the assessment within a 3 month period. However, depending on how quickly references and checks are returned, this can sometimes take longer.