I've been going through the fostering assessment for months and finally have my panel date for next week! I'm soooo nervous! Has anyone got any advice or can tell me what their experience of panel was like? I'm scared that I won't get approved when it's something I really want to do!
It will be fine, they wouldn't put you in front of panel if they weren't sure you will be approved! They will ask you some questions, but just think, and answer calmly and honestly. You will be fine! They are always lovely people!
Thankyou noisytoys and twopots. I think it's just nerve racking the thought of finally getting to the end of my assessment and then having panel decide whether I should be approved or not. I'm sure it will be fine and a big relief when it's over
We were very nervous when we went before panel. It was fine, they asked relevant, sensible questions which weren't designed to trip us up, quite the opposite. The decision was on the same day which was a relief. Well done for getting this far and good luck for the future OP.
I am a retired social worker/manager and chaired many Fostering Panels. LAs are all different but so long as your social worker has provided all the information needed, it should be plain sailing. Panel members know that applicants are nervous and try to put them at ease. Having said that I think the worst thing is coming into a room with sooooo many people round the table - yes - they'll mostly all smile at you, but it's still a LOT of people and there's no getting around that because it has to be a multi disciplinary panel.
It should be a discussion rather than a Q and A session but it does seem like the latter. Before you go in the panel will decide who will raise a particular issue with you. There are no trick questions and no one is trying to trip you up........they usually start by asking how you found the preparation course and was there anything that stood out particularly for you, so you could have a think about that. You'll find once you've started talking and people are being pleasant and encouraging your nerves will start to settle.
The thing to remember is foster carers are like gold dust and LAs are in desperate need of people like you! Your social worker has made a positive recommendation and really the panel is there to formalise things, so they are not really making a decision, they are confirming the recommendation, if that makes sense. Don't know if your sw mentioned this, but most panels will ask you to leave the room at the end and then call you back in to say you are approved but they then have to get the agreement of the agency decision maker (a Senior Manager) but this is just a "rubber stamping job" to be honest.
So good luck and remember the real hard work starts when you start to foster!
At my panel a couple of years ago, the chair came out and greeted me in the waiting room beforehand. She also read out the questions that I was going to be asked before i went into the room which I found hugely reassuring. I had been worried about certain questions coming up and it put my mind at ease, but as nananina says they aren't trick questions. You will be fine, you've got to panel having got through the assessment with a positive recommendation from your social worker. Good luck op! Let us know how you get on