This is the final stage which determines if you will become eligible to foster. Panel is chaired by an independent chairperson with considerable experience of working with children and young people. There will be eight to nine other members with a professional background in child or social care. Some may have direct experience of foster caring either being carers or have been fostered themselves. Panel meetings take around an hour and you will be asked to attend an office near you.
We will have prepared you thoroughly and your completed Form F and Portfolio will be presented at Panel: (prior to Panel, you will be able to read the social workers assessment of you, but not your references). You will be presented by your assessing social worker who will be there to provide you with support, advice and guidance. Panel will go through your Form F and discuss generally the most suitable types of fostering placements for you. You will be encouraged to share your views and ask any questions you may have. You will be then leave the room whilst panel make their recommendations after which the Chairperson will inform you of their decision.
You will later be notified in writing of the Agency Decision Maker’s decision on behalf of the agency regarding your approval/re-approval as carers for the agency.