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4.7.6 Attendance of Applicants at Fostering Panel


Fostering Panel Procedure

Foster Carer Recruitment, Assessment and Approval Procedure

See also the UK National Minimum Standards for Foster Care.


Section 2, Policy Information of this chapter was updated in January 2012 as a result of the Fostering Services Regulations and NMS, 2011, to include the provision that an applicant may bring a supporter.


  1. Policy Statement
  2. Policy Information
  3. Procedure Detail
  4. Applicants Attendance at Fostering Panel: Some Typical Questions Panel Members may Ask

1. Policy Statement

The purpose of attendance at Panel is:

  • As an affirming process for applicants;
  • To demystify the Panel process for applicants;
  • To give Panel a more complete view of the application through a brief meeting with the applicants;
  • To comply with best practice as set out in the UK National Standards for Fostering.

2. Policy Information

  • All applicants to be approved as foster carers will be invited to attend the Fostering Panel when their application is being considered. They may, if they wish, attend with a supporter;
  • Applicants do not have to attend - it is their choice. A decision not to attend will not prejudice consideration of their application;
  • If in a partnership, both applicants will be invited to attend but if only one partner wishes to attend, that will, again, be the applicant’s choice;
  • Children of applicants will not be included, unless an adult child is applying to foster with a parent;
  • Applicants will be invited to ask questions of the Panel if they wish, and it will be suggested that they write them down for their own reference.

3. Procedure Detail

  • The Panel will meet with the assessing social worker first, to clarify any points which relate to the process of assessment, and to ask any preliminary questions;
  • If the assessing social worker has reservations about the application these will have been discussed with the applicants during the preparation of the Form F, and will form part of the Social Worker’s Assessment, which the applicants will have read;
  • If there is any information which is of concern provided by a third party on a confidential basis, this cannot be shared with the applicants without the third party’s express written permission. If this permission has not been given, the applicants must be informed, prior to the Panel meeting, that there is such information, which may have a bearing on the outcome of their application;
  • The Chair will then ascertain what questions Panel members wish to ask of the applicants, and if necessary, agree which Panel member will ask each question;
  • Some typical questions are suggested at Appendix A;
  • The assessing social worker will then invite the applicant(s) to join the Panel;
  • The Chair will welcome the applicant(s) and will introduce the Panel;
  • Panel members will also have name cards in front of them to assist the applicant(s);
  • The Chair will comment on two or three strengths of the application;
  • The Chair will then invite each Panel member to ask their pre-agreed question. In each case a single follow-up question may be asked for further clarification if necessary, with the permission of the Chair;
  • The Chair will then ask the applicant(s) if they have any questions they wish to ask the Panel, and will direct any questions to the Panel member they think most appropriate to answer that question;
  • The Chair will then thank the applicant(s) for attending, and will explain the process by which the applicant(s) will be informed of the result of their application;
  • The assessing social worker will then accompany the applicants out of the room, and will ask them to complete a feedback sheet on their attendance, while the assessing social worker returns to the Panel for any final questions;
  • The assessing social worker will then spend some time with the applicant(s) to allow them to ‘debrief’;
  • The applicant’s attendance will be minuted as part of the Panel Meeting Minutes.

4. Applicants Attendance at Fostering Panel: Some Typical Questions Panel Members may Ask

What led to you deciding you wanted to become foster carers?

  • What experience will you bring to foster?
  • Why do you thing that this is the right time for you to start fostering?
  • How will it affect other members of your family?
  • How have you found the process of training and assessment?
  • How have you perceptions of fostering changed during the training and assessment?
  • How do you think a child you fostered would describe their time with you (and your family)?
  • What methods of discipline do you use?
  • What are your expectations of the children you may be asked to look after?
  • Can you give us any examples of you working together as a team?
  • What changes do you expect to make if you lifestyle in order to comply with Safe Caring?
  • (For partnerships) What role would each of you play in the care of a child / young person?
  • What role would birth parents play in the lives of children you look after?
  • What are your views of the scheme of allowances and fees?
  • Is there any future training you are looking forward to as you start fostering?