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What is the fostering panel?
Once your fostering assessment is complete and the report known as the Form F has been submitted, you will get a date to appear at panel. You are now well on your way to becoming a foster carer.
For many prospective foster carers, the fostering panel can be a daunting prospect. However, the panel at Eastern Fostering Services are all keen to approve foster carers. As a result, they are there to ensure you are well prepared and that there are no glaring reasons as to why you should not be approved.
We always maintain that fostering applicants should not be brought to panel if there is any doubt around their ability and motivation to foster. The fostering assessment is robust and thorough and the Form F report should leave no stone uncovered and should fully cover any areas for future development and have addressed them appropriately.
Who is on the fostering panel?
You can find a list of our panel members here.
Don’t worry, not all of the panel will be present! Usually there will be 6 people on the panel and you will be accompanied and supported by your fostering assessor, with whom you will have already built a good relationship.
What will they want to know?
In advance of the panel, the panel members will read through your Form F. Before you go in to the room, the panel will have spent some time talking about the assessment and will agree what questions they want to ask. Normally this is one each but sometimes there may be fewer questions.
Typically, the panel want to understand your motivation to foster. They may also ask you about the other important people in your life such as birth children or close family. In addition to this, the panel members may want to give you a few scenarios to respond to, “what would you do if…”
Remember, the panel are on your side. One of our panel members recently said, “I love approving new foster carers. It always give me such joy to see the start of the journey and to watch as foster carers make a real difference to children.”
For a foster carer’s view on the panel experience, you can read this blog written by one of our carers.
Good to go!
Once the fostering panel have made their decision, they will call you back in to the room and will let you know their decision. They will give you full reasons for your approval, what they like about you and what they feel your strengths are.
Once the paperwork is all signed off, you will be an approved foster carer and will be ready to be considered for children. Then the fun really begins!