As well as contributing to your assessment, your assessing Social Worker will provide you with information in order that you can consider carefully if fostering is for you. In concluding your assessment both you and your Social Worker should be clear on your suitability to foster, what type of children or young people’s needs your family would be best placed to meet and what type of fostering you are able to provide (e.g. interim, permanent).
Once completed, the assessment report will be considered by a Fostering Panel. The Fostering Panel is usually made up of 3 or 4 people who have relevant and different experiences of child care. Applicants have a right to attend their Panel, along with their assessing Social Worker. If you are unable to attend the Panel, this will not prejudice your application.
Panel members will meet on their own initially to briefly discuss the reports they have read and decide which questions they need to ask you, your assessing Social Worker and their Senior Worker/ Team Manager. You will then be asked to speak with the Panel along with your assessing Social Worker and their Senior Worker/Team Manager.
The Panel will consider all the information presented to them and, at the end of the discussion, will make a recommendation about your application. You will be advised of the recommendation at the meeting by the Panel Chair or immediately afterwards by your assessing Social Worker.
The assessment report and a minute of the discussion will be passed to the Agency Decision Maker who will make a decision within 14 days of the Panel taking place. You will be notified of the decision in writing by the Agency Decision Maker.