Before becoming approved, you’ll be invited to attend a fostering panel where an independent group of people will review your assessment report and make a recommendation about your ability to foster and the terms of your approval; such as the age and number of children you can care for.
The fostering panel is usually made up of around 6 to 10 people, who each have a unique set of skills, knowledge and experiences in relation to children. Some of our panel members have worked in social care, others have experience in fostering or been in care themselves. In addition, we also have a panel chair, minute taker, social worker and a panel advisor.
This level of diversity helps us to look at you and your assessment from all different points of view and ensure that you’ll be able to meet the needs of young people in care and provide them with the guidance and support they need to thrive.
What happens at a fostering panel?
On the day, you’ll arrive at your local ISP centre and take a seat in the waiting area, while the panel reviews your assessment and any other paperwork they’ve received.
You’ll then be invited to join them - alongside your assessing social worker - to answer any questions they may have. It’s difficult to say exactly what questions you’ll be asked, as this depends completely on the contents of your assessment. For example, if you’re a single applicant, you may be asked questions around your support network; if you have children, you may be asked questions about how they feel about becoming a family that fosters.
After the questions have been answered, you’ll take a seat in our waiting room while your suitability to foster is discussed. Once a recommendation has been reached, you’ll be invited back into the room to hear their feedback.