Panel date!!!!!

(36 Posts)
Catfriend Wed 23-Jan-13 09:06:46

hi I've got my panel date!!!! Hopefully if my ssw gets everything done on time!!! It's not for a good few months yet tho. Is there anything I need to do to prepare myself??

lovesmileandlaugh Wed 23-Jan-13 11:34:42

We are working towards panel now, we've done Skills to Foster training, had a few meetings with SSW, filled in CRB forms, got medicals booked, had home assessment done. We've been talked through it all, so each time we see the SSW, we ask her what we need to do this week. I was surprised that we were booked into panel before we'd even met our SSW, but it all seems to be ticking along nicely at the moment.
Good luck!

Catfriend Thu 24-Jan-13 12:23:09

Hi lovesmileandlaugh. I'm surprised you had been booked for panel before you met your ssw!! I suppose all LA's work differently tho. I've got my crb and had medical, just waiting to hear back from my medical. Just wondering have you started buying things ie clothes toys pram if needed, bed. Or are you waiting for your panel day??

lovesmileandlaugh Thu 24-Jan-13 19:15:49

Hi catfriend

No, I've started collecting bits of outgrown toys from friends, and stopped handing down our old toys! LA will provide all the equipment and furniture we need.

Have to admit, I do fancy a good mooch in Mothercare, but we really don't know who might be coming or when! Will all probably end up in a mad dash to 24 hour Tesco!

We had done Skills to Foster before we got assigned our SSW, although yes, I was surprised when she rang me to arrange to come and see us and said we'd already been booked for panel!

Catfriend Thu 24-Jan-13 19:46:48

I keep looking on different sites at prams toys furniture etc. My ssw has told me not to buy anything just yet!!!! I'm hoping to be approved for birth to 8 year olds but would prefer upto 5 year olds. I'm like you I'm dying to have a mooch in mothercare at the prams/pushchairs.

workisneverdone Mon 28-Jan-13 13:01:14

My panel date has been set for the beginning of March if there is a slot available it will in Feb. At the moment I'm going through the basic H&S checks in my home to ensure it is in order before a child arrives.

I was assigned my SW after the Skills to Foster training. Then loads of assessment interviews took place, numourous visits to my home by SW, full medical, interviews with my children, oldest was CRBed and she is also my back up carer, younger one her school had to send a report to SW, my siblings were interviewed, close friends and regular visitors to my home were also CRB checked , work colleagues also interviewed, plus my daughter's father who does not live me with was also interviewed.

I must say at first I thought the assessment sessions would be quite therapeutic for me but found them to be very very intrusive at the beginning blush. Questions went so far back in my life I swear I had a flashback of the colour and texture of my mothers womb smile . However I do understand the reasoning behind all the questions as SW has to ensure the safety and well-being of the foster child whilst in my care.

Catfriend Fri 15-Mar-13 07:40:00

Finally got my panel date!!!!! Nervous and excited all in one!!!

lovesmileandlaugh Fri 15-Mar-13 13:57:43

Yaaaay! I know how you feel. We have our date (a few weeks away), and I am swinging from excitement to absolute fear!

I've not found the assessment too bad. I'm quite an open book, so I can cope with the intrusiveness!

Did nip into mothercare last weekend (for a completely legit reason- honest!), and did have a little bit of excitement!

Feel free to PM me x

lostonline Wed 20-Mar-13 15:43:28

Hi
We have panel tomorrow ! Its taken us about a year to get this far. I laughed at the flashbacks to your mothers womb reference - I also had no idea the assessment would be so far reaching !

Hoping tomorrow won't be too gruelling

lostonline Fri 22-Mar-13 13:32:33

Panel went well and was a far more friendly experience than I had expected. We were approved by them but have to wait for this to come through formally in writing next week
Meeting with SSW next week to start discussing possible placements etc and to check that their final health and safety recommendations have been completed
All very exciting !
Can anyone share their experiences of what happens next please ?

EmberRainbow Mon 25-Mar-13 10:49:06

Congratulations Lost smile

What's your approval range ?

Any news about a placement yet?

lostonline Mon 25-Mar-13 11:15:36

Thank you Ember
We are approved for one child or siblings aged 0 - 12 for respite care and long term fostering. We can not do short term or emergency as we do not leave close enough to school runs.
Our SSW is visiting on Thursday with profiles for two possible long term placements and we may do some respite care in the next few months while long term placements are sorted.
Does anyone have any experience of respite care ?

Catfriend Tue 26-Mar-13 18:54:08

Ahh fantastic news Lost I bet your over the moonsmile have you got your room all ready and sorted?!! I bet you can't wait now. Eee I'm really happy for you.

lostonline Tue 26-Mar-13 22:05:15

Thanks cat - it's all very exciting. We are waiting for confirmation in writing but we are assured its on its way ! Looking forward to our meeting with SSW and talking about possible placements. Is your panel date soon ?

Sarahjess Thu 28-Mar-13 20:48:04

I've found this thread so helpful. We are due our first home visit next week, looking forward to meeting others doing he same as us, such a long time to complete tho. I hope in a month or so, I'll be able to write similar news smile. Thanks for sharing, it's really helped xxx

Catfriend Fri 29-Mar-13 08:06:00

Lostonline: yes my panel date is a few weeks time, I'm nervous and excited. How many questions did they ask you?? Did they say how long 'the letter' will take to arrive??

lostonline Fri 29-Mar-13 22:29:59

The official letter arrived yesterday. They asked about ten questions but they were all very friendly. I was nervous but they put us at ease. Weird to be sat in front of all those people who knew so much about us. Good luck with your application. We are looking forward to our first placement

Catfriend Sun 31-Mar-13 09:14:09

10 questions!!!!OMG I was hoping to be asked about 4!!!!! Were you allowed adequate time to prepare yourself for the questions???? Have you had any news on your first placement??

lostonline Wed 03-Apr-13 14:39:52

We didn't get preparation time although I think we were supposed too - but the questions were all the obvious ones that we had been expecting and had prepared for at home.

We have a meeting with the SW of a possible placement on Friday to find out more. Looking forward to finally having a child placed with us after all this time.

Sarahjess - good luck with your first home visit - have they given you any idea about possible panel dates - ours could have been sooner but we had to delay training until January as could not attend the first lot in September

Sarahjess Wed 03-Apr-13 20:06:06

Hi, no, no other information given yet sad. Maybe when they home visit. I think each county is a different time frame, we are Dorset, they say about 6 months from 1st phone call, that was 5 weeks ago. Have you got tips? Good luck with your meeting Friday, look forward to reading your news x

Sarahjess Wed 03-Apr-13 20:23:03

Hi, no, no other information given yet sad. Maybe when they home visit. I think each county is a different time frame, we are Dorset, they say about 6 months from 1st phone call, that was 5 weeks ago. Have you got tips? Good luck with your meeting Friday, look forward to reading your news x

lostonline Wed 03-Apr-13 22:14:54

Been to our first new carers support group meeting tonight. A few of the couples there had been approved for while and not had placements. It seemed that they had been approved for a limited age range or specified gender. We were glad our social worker had advised us to go to panel for approval for a wider range than we had initially thought about and said that we can always say no to a potential placement. It's worth finding out about the different kinds of fostering available in your area and considering being approved for different kinds.

Sarahjess Thu 04-Apr-13 08:22:56

Wow, great news for you. We are opting for newborn-2 yrs. it seems that in our area there are only a few that foster that age group. I'm sure on Monday we will learn more with our home visit. Look forward to your news smile x

NanaNina Fri 05-Apr-13 00:24:50

Don't worry about panel Catfriend though I know it's easy for me to say that. I am a retired sw and tm mgr of a Fostering & Adoption team, so last worked in 2009. The thing is so long as your assessing sw has carried out a full assessment (and got all the paperwork together!) it should be plain sailing.

It is intimidating however to walk into a room of about 10 strangers. The thing is the law requires that there must be an independent chair of the panel, a rep from education, health, a social worker, a fostering social worker, a local councillor, an independent rep and sometimes legal rep, plus the chair, the Panel advisor and a clerk taking the minutes, so there are a lot of people. They will introduce themselves but you won't remember who they are so don't worry about that.

Before the law changed I chaired Fostering Panels and we used to keep the numbers down to 5 or 6 at most as we knew how intimidating it was for applicants. However the govt in their wisdom decided on this more independent approach, which I suppose could be a fairer system.

No one is out to trip you up. Before you go in the panel chair will talk to the panel members and there will be an agreement about who asks you about something. It isn't really meant to be a Q and A session, but I'm afraid it does end up a bit like that. Panels know that applicants are nervous and allow for that. We always started off by asking applicants how they had found the prep group and whether anything had stood out for them. Best if you can think of something that did, and sometimes we asked if they were shocked by anything. Again don't be afraid to say if that was the case.

Panels are always running late so you will probably have to wait which doesn't help. Honestly it will all be over before you know........just be as open and honest as you can. ALSO very important is this - don't forget LAs urgently need foster carers, so you are offering the LA something, and the Panel will be wanting to approve you. Hope you have seen a copy of your report - if not ask for one, and I am assuming there is a positive recommendation from the assessing sw.
Good Luck!

Catfriend Tue 09-Apr-13 08:37:47

Go NanaNina. Thanks for your feed back, it always makes more sense when you replysmile I have seen a copy of my Form, it had me crying, I didn't realise I am actually capable of things when it's put down on paper. I get on really well with my SSW and she has helped me alot. My panel day is soon approaching, I am trying not to think about it too much till the actual day. Really I can't stop thinking about it!!!!!

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