Attendance at panels is a regular feature of fostering and for many, it can be a daunting experience.
For most, their first experience of attending panel will be after their fostering checks and assessment have been completed. On this occasion panel members like to meet with prospective foster carers to get to know them a little and ask further questions based on their study of the assessment.
Having supported all our carers through their first panel experience, I have come to understand that most people have the same questions and concerns such as what questions will they ask; how long will it take and what will happen next? The meeting is usually quite informal, and questions will be based on the content of the assessment and feedback form the assessing social worker and CHF staff. Carers will also have the opportunity to ask any questions of their own.
The panel event and their recommendations are an essential and legal part of the fostering approval process and although carers attendance is not compulsory, our panel members like to meet with carers in person. It’s a chance for them to get to know you, your story and motivation for fostering. We are fortunate that we have a very committed and friendly group of panel members who look forward to meeting carers year after year for annual reviews and follow your journey as foster carers with keen interest.
Steps of Panel
- Approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to the panel event, prospective Foster Carers are provided with Charms login details.
- PFCs are required to login into their Charms accounts read the completed Form F assessment and add their own contributions before signing off. Support is always provided.
- As soon as all parties have signed the Form F, it is made available to panel a minimum of 10 days prior to the panel event.
- Prospective Foster Carers are provided with the event agenda and their appointment time 10 days before the event.
- Panel have 10 days to study the assessment and prepare questions
- PFC’s will attend the panel event either virtually via our online meeting link or in person at our office.
- On the day of the panel event and at the appointed time, panel members may wish to speak with the assessing social worker to clarify any issues before meeting with the PFC.
- Panel will then invite the PFC in for a discussion and questions.
- PFCs and the assessing social worker will be asked to exit the meeting briefly whilst panel deliberate their decision.
- PFCs and the assessing social worker will be invited to rejoin the meeting to hear panel decision.
- After the meeting, panel minutes are sent to the ADM, the Agency Decision Maker who will consider the panels recommendation and make a final decision to approve or not.
- If approved, carers will be informed in writing and receive the foster carer agreement and relevant information by post, email and via Charms.
- Carers are required to submit a signature on the foster carer agreement
- An agency Supervising Social worker will be allocated to you.
- Carers are invited to take part in induction training approximately 1 week after panel. Attendance is important as we will go through your roles and responsibilities as a carer, introduce you to your Charms account and Training Hub account.