Say hello to our fostering panel!
At Eastern Fostering Services, we are lucky enough to have a fantastic team who make up our fostering panel. Some of the panel have worked with children or in Social Care. Others have fostered or worked with foster carers. And some of them are completely independent of fostering. This gives our panel balance and perspective and allows them to fully consider all prospective foster carers fairly.
The Panel reviews the information and evidence in the report your supervising social worker writes for you when you apply to become a foster carer.
The Panel then makes a decision whether or not to recommend you as a foster carer to your fostering agency.
Corrie: Chair (Team Manager, Local Authority Fostering)
My name is Corrie Castleman and I am an independent Social Worker and chair of the panel. I love meeting all of you willing to open your home to the most vulnerable children and young people in our community and think you and your families are all remarkable!
I came to England from South Africa in 1996 and have never looked back.
When I first came to England, I worked in a long-term child carer team for about 4 years. I joined the Fostering Service about 19 years ago as a Social worker in the Adolescent Fostering Team. After that, I managed two different teams with responsibility for recruitment, support and training of foster carers. In 2002, I set up the Fostering Recruitment Team in my Local Authority before going on maternity leave with my first daughter. I love the team and the work we do and feel passionate about recruiting the most suitable foster carers able to meet the needs of our very complex children. In this role on Fostering Panel, I love meeting extraordinary people like yourselves.
David: Vice Chair
After working for a time as a clinical psychologist in the NHS,
I spent many years teaching psychology to a wide range of students, including doctors, heath visitors, teachers, nurses and social workers. I was involved in the development of new degree courses in psychology, sociology and criminology, as well in the development of the new University of Suffolk.
As the father of 5 children I was very committed to their welfare, and we worked hard at getting satisfactory balances between work and fun, which is not an easy task. When my wife (below) joined Eastern Fostering Services, I was impressed with commitment and care provided by the team for foster parents and the children and have taken part in many panel meetings approving amazing, high quality people as new foster carers
After working for a time as a clinical psychologist in the NHS,
I qualified as a social worker in 1986. Over the years, I have been fortunate to have had a variety of interesting roles. I also have training in therapeutic work.
In 2012, I came to work for Eastern Fostering Services, working with foster parents and foster children as a supervising social worker. I retired from full time work in April 2017.
Now, I really enjoy being part of the fostering panel. I love being involved in the process of bringing more foster parents into the world!
Hi, I am Nigel Jones. I was born in Manchester and with a degree in Business Studies from Bradford University, I worked as an accountant, tax adviser and later Human resources Director in the Financial services industry in Kendal and then Ipswich.
My interests include writing poetry and short stories as well as supporting my boyhood team Manchester City.
I moved to Suffolk from the Northwest in 2001 and since retiring I have served as a local parish councillor. I met my wife, Pauline at University and we have a son and a daughter. I have been an Eastern Fostering Services Panel member for nearly ten years.
Hello, serving on the Eastern Fostering Services panel is a privilege to me as an experienced Foster Carer. I enjoy sharing my home with children who are unable to live with their birth parents for whatever reason. The fun and frustration are usually in equal measures!
My career background has been Social care management and my family life is vibrant with 4 grown children and 11 grandchildren. I am a lone carer and find the challenges of Foster caring rewarding and fulfilling. Live, Laugh, Love!
Hi, I’m Netta, a retired social worker who has clocked up 40 years of childcare practice, the last 20 of which were spent working for the NSPCC.
I joined Eastern Fostering Services’ Panel in 2015 and enjoy all aspects of the role. My interests include family therapy, childhood trauma, autism, risk-taking behaviour and adolescent mental health. I am also passionate about child safety and protection. As a panel member, I enjoy meeting the caring, courageous, and dedicated people who come to panel. It is both an uplifting and humbling experience.
Hi. My name is Stef and I am one of the independent social workers who sits on the fostering panel. I live in rural Norfolk with my family and enjoy attempting jigsaws, spending time with loved ones and getting muddy in the countryside.
I am passionate about protecting children and have been a social worker for a number of years, working in both frontline teams and specialist fostering services. I have a degree in Early Childhood and Psychology as well as a Masters in Social Work.
I look forward to seeing you at panel very soon and thank you for all your hard work in reaching this stage of the process.
Hi, my name is Jo, I am a Recruitment and Supervising Social Worker with Eastern Fostering Services. I am mainly based in Cambridgeshire where I work on building a team of foster carers in the area. My role is varied whereby I hold fostering information events for those who would like to find out a bit more about fostering. I complete the form F fostering assessments with applicants and carry out a supervising role to foster carer’s once they are approved by the fostering panel. In my spare time I like to travel, and see and experience different places, you will often find me at a music festival or concert.
Alex qualified as a social worker in 2017, but following this, she took some time out after university and worked two jobs to gain more experience working with children in care, supervising contacts and working with children out of education and awaiting long-term foster placements. After university, she also travelled around Asia for four months before returning to find her first social work job in 2018, which happened to be in the Child in Care Team. This is where she knew her passion lay, and she stayed in the team for three years before making the jump over to the kinship team in early 2021, where she was able to maintain her link to Children in Care but also learn more about Fostering. Fast forward 18 months and after learning lots about Fostering, she found herself at EFS and the rest is history! She loves the community feel here at EFS and the opportunities to build longstanding relationships with carers and children.
In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and friends, going out to eat, going on walks and her biggest passion is travelling and seeing new places! She loves having new things to look forward to, but also enjoys a chilled evening on the sofa watching terrible reality TV!
Hello, my name is Sue. I am the newest member to the panel. Before retirement I taught modern languages and RE for 30 years. I also co-ordinated personal, social, health and economic education on a variety of social issues.
I have two children in their thirties and two small grandchildren whom I look after once a week. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, cooking, eating and travelling and learning about the history of art. I am also a school governor and co-ordinator of an English for women project.
What happens at the Fostering Panel?
You and your assessing Social Worker will be invited to attend Panel.
The Fostering Panel will meet with your Social Worker first and then you will be invited to meet the Panel to join in the discussion.
The Panel will ask you questions and you will have an opportunity to ask questions of your own.
Your assessing Social Worker will then take you to a waiting room and the panel will discuss their conclusions and recommendation.
The Chairperson will tell you of the Panel’s recommendation.
What happens after the Fostering Panel?
A copy of the Panel minutes is forwarded with the Panel’s recommendation to Eleanor Vanner, the Registered Manager at Eastern Fostering Services. The Registered Manager is the person who will make the final decision as to whether you become approved as a foster carer.
You will be sent written confirmation of the agency’s decision.
What happens if you are not approved?
You can write to the Registered Manager within 28 days to make an appeal and have your application reviewed. Your assessing Social Worker will explain the appeals procedure to you.
Once you are approved
Eastern Fostering Services will immediately allocate you a Supervising Social Worker, who will visit you and make sure you have a copy of the Foster Carer’s Handbook. They will take you through the Foster Carer’s Agreement. The team will be in touch with you as soon as any children are referred who might be suitable to come and live with your family.