The final stage on your journey to become approved as a foster carer for Compass Fostering is to attend the fostering panel, where a recommendation about your suitability to be a foster carer will be made.
It’s quite natural that you may feel nervous about this next stage as most people do; so we want to help prepare you for it.
What is a fostering panel?
Once you and your Assessing Social Worker have completed your visits together, you’ve attended Skills to Foster and your Form F report is finished, you’ll attend the day this has led up to: your fostering panel interview.
When your Form F report is complete, it will be given to a panel of childcare experts. These panels are usually made up of a few senior social workers, care, fostering and educational professionals. They will make their recommendation as to whether you’ll be joining the Compass family as a foster parent.
Leading up to the panel interview
You will be given a date for the fostering panel at the early stage of the assessment. Very occasionally there is a need to change the date of attendance, but if this happens you will be given as much notice as possible.
You’ll receive a letter three weeks before the fostering panel date, confirming the time and place. Your Assessing Social Worker will also attend the interview to be there to support you.
What to wear to foster panel
We would usually recommend people where whatever they are most comfortable in. Whilst it’s always good to make a good first impression, you are not being judged on your clothing, but on your ability to look after a child or young person.
What happens at the fostering panel?
When the fostering panel have looked over your report, they’ll want to ask you some questions regarding it. We’ve put together some guidance on what sort of fostering assessment questions you can expect. This interview will be based around your own experiences, so each question will be tailored to you personally.
This isn’t a session to make you feel uncomfortable or put you on the spot, your Assessing Social Worker will be there to support you through the whole process and the panel are friendly professionals. You’ll have had plenty of practice from your Form F at explaining why you want to be a foster carer; it’ll just be telling a few new faces! After this, the panel will make their recommendation.
What happens after fostering panel?
After the panel have come to their decision, if you are approved this will be passed on to the Agency Decision Maker (ADM). This is the final step to get the recommendation signed off, the ADM’s job is to make sure that children are safeguarded suitably and may ask more questions of the panel and your assessor to clarify or challenge anything they’ve seen.
Once the ADM has signed off the recommendation: you’re a Compass carer! Now it’s time to think about things to consider for your first day with a foster child.