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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.


(9 Posts)
Mirinda Thu 17-Feb-11 13:07:50

What to expect at pannel? Council says not to worry while other foster carers said to prepare ourselfs that we will be ripped to shreds.
19 days till pannel day, yeah!

NanaNina Thu 17-Feb-11 13:46:27

Hi Mirinda - I have 30 years experience as a sw and tm mgr in fostering & adoption and have chaired fostering panels for many years.

You should not be worried about the panel, though most applicants are nervous and this is not surprising, given that you will be walking into a room with maybe a dozen people who are strangers. Panels have to me nulti disciplinary, so that in addition to the chair, there will a minute taker, a panel advisor, a social worker, a fostering sw, a medical rep, an education rep, an indpendent member and sometimes a young person who has been in the care system. In addition there may be 1 or 2 observers (students or new employees.

The purpose of the panel is so that you are approved by a panel rather than just the sw wwho has done your assessment. So long as the a/ment has been carried out comprehensively, there should not be any problems. Before you go in, the panel will work out who will raise what issue with you. It isn't a Q and A session though it can be seen like that. It is really a discussion and they usually start by asking what you thought of the training course, and whether anything stood out for you on the course, they may ask about your parenting of your own children. They will be raising some issues that are in the report just to give you the opportunity to talk yourselves, rather than them just reading the report. If you aren't sure about anything your sw should be able to help you out and explain what the panel are asking (this does sometimes happen, as people aren't always clear in what they ask)

No-one will be trying trip you up, or ask awkward questions and all panel members are used to applicants being nervous and make allowances for that. Don't forget foster carers are like gold dust to social services - they need you!

If the a/ment is incomplete then that should be raised with the sw well before panel. Sometimes this does hapen and she/he has to go back to the applicants to ask supplementary questions. People might feel the are being "chewed up" but most applicants breathe a sigh of relief and say it was nowhere near as bad as they thought.

So good luck and don't worry - you will be fine! The real worry starts when the placements start!!

p99gmb Thu 17-Feb-11 15:23:59

Hi. We went to panel back in August 10.

I was terrified.. there was so much potentially I thought they would have a problem with, and yet it was 'no big deal'.

Just be yourself, you'll have time to prepare your answers - they'll see your SW first and tell her what they want to ask you.. she'll then come out and let you know, and you prepare your answers.

Shortly after, they'll come and tell you if you're approved or not.

Just be yourself.. if you've got this far, hopefully you will be fine.

Good luck, and like nananina says, the real worry does start when you get THE call !!!

We waited 9 days after panel before THE call came!!

Let us know!!!!

SquidgyBrain Thu 17-Feb-11 15:53:36

Hi Miranda - we also went to panel in Aug 2010

It was really nerve wrecking, as it was something we both really wanted to do so the stakes felt high, but like P99 I didn't find it really to be a problem, and like Nananina said they are wanting to approve you but need to be clear in their minds you should be approved.

I found they asked a few questions which there wasn't much detail about in our assessment, in our case, we had both written in our life histories that we had a rough patch in our marriage in 2007, which was down to my husband having some causative depression, the social workers who were assessing us, asked briefly about this, but really didn't go into any detail - they didn't think it was necessary as they could clearly see we are a strong couple and get on really well, but of course the panel didn't have the chance to get to know us, so we had to go into much more depth about this - I probably went into too much depth, but by the end of it they were in no doubt that our relationship is very strong.

As P99 says just be yourself, and answer honestly and you really shouldn't have a problem

Good luck and come back and tell us all about you being approved grin

NanaNina Thu 17-Feb-11 23:09:20

Obviously different LA panels work in different way which is not surprising.
p99gmb - it isn't always the case that the sw comes out and tells you what they want to ask so you can prepare your answers. I have not known a system like this.

I thing squidgy has demonstrated the point I was trying to make, that if something isn't clear in the report or insufficiently detailed, then the panel will ask questions about the issue. I think this is unfair because the panel advisor and chair read all the reports obviously before panel and if there is something that hasn't been covered in enough detail, they should go back to the assessing sw to go back to the applicants and get more detail. This prevents having to ask the applicants about sometimes difficult issues when they are actually at the panel.

SquidgyBrain Fri 18-Feb-11 13:37:57

Nina - I totally agree with you. I am quite an open person, but it was quite difficult having to tell a room of 12 strangers about what really was one of the worst time my life - it would have been so much easier to told our 2 lovely link workers who we had built up a relationship with.

fostering Fri 18-Feb-11 20:31:56

When FC's attend panel for our LA the chairperson comes through first to let us know what questions are going to be asked.

All panel members are warm and friendly. LA's are desperate for FC's so are not in anyway trying to catch you out, just checking that you are up to the job, which is a hard one!

We are asked to leave the room while the panel makes their decision which we are then told immediately. The agency decision maker then makes the final decision about a week later.

Good luck, both with the panel and the first placement.

tunecedemalis Sat 26-Feb-11 19:19:34

TBH our panel was so nice it felt like having a chat with a few like-minded people- hugely grateful they were so welcoming and chilled! smile

Gaynor1964 Mon 24-Feb-14 07:38:29

Hi im wondering if any one can give me any advice, at the moment i have taken on 2 ov my grand children the eldest 16 with disabilitys and a ten year old boy they was placed with me quite quick and have had to share a room witch sw have known for 9 months ,3 months a go i passed as a temp foster nana but i go to panel in march to see if pass , but have now been told i may not as kids shear a room ,, i said why put me through knowing i will not pass and sw have known for all this time , they are now working with council to do a loft room so children have own , but do foster panel give time for this or will they fail me , also along side ov foster im doing assesment for special guardianship but feel they may fob me off to do that so get no help and support can any one give any advice please thanks x

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