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What to expect from a Fostering Panel

One of the final steps of the application process to become a foster carer is attending a Fostering Panel.

If you are not used to formal situations, the Fostering Panel may feel a little bit daunting. This is completely understandable and it is a worry which is shared by many foster carers.

The thought of attending a panel can create a vision of being at a job interview. However, the Fostering Panel is not as scary as it sounds.

“Going to panel was the scariest thing we ever faced but we didn't need to worry as they were friendly and put us at ease straight away.”

-Ali, existing foster carer

What is the Fostering Panel?

The Fostering Panel is where potential foster carers find out if they are being recommended for approval to foster.

This consists of a discussion about your social worker’s assessment and recommendation. It is a short process, which should only take around 30 minutes.

The panel consists of:

  • The chair or vice chair;

  • A social worker who must have three years post-qualifying experience;

  • Three or four other members from additional services.

In cases where the chair is not present, a member who is independent of the Fostering Service would take their place.

By this point, you will have had plenty of time to talk to your social worker about Fostering Panel and what to expect. Our social workers will be with you every step of the way.

What do I need to know?

You may be asked a few questions during Panel - the questions are not trying to ‘catch you out’ or make you look bad in any way. The process is positive and your social worker will prepare you for every eventuality.

If you are put forward for recommendation, there may be terms attached to it. For example, if you are a smoker, you may receive support to quit.

The recommendation decision will be made at the Fostering Panel and it will be passed to the Agency Decision Maker (ADM) to issue the final approval. This normally takes place very quickly afterwards.

What’s next?

When you receive final approval to become a foster carer, it is time to take the next exciting step in the process.

You will receive a welcome pack and be allocated a Supervising Social Worker. After this, you will start the induction process as a Fostering Rotherham foster carer and begin the journey to welcome a looked after child into your home.

Learn more about fostering in Rotherham

If you have any questions about fostering in Rotherham, book a call back with a member of our experienced team at a time that suits you. All our call backs are confidential.


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