Our fostering assessment is a thorough process, with various checks and references that help us really get to know our applicants and the type of foster carers they would be.
Whether you’re on our standard foster assessment, or our Fast Track assessment, it’s good to have an idea about the type of questions you’ll be asked in the final step of your assessment: the fostering panel interview.
Like our checks and references, the fostering panel interview gives us (and our panel members) the opportunity to get to know you as a person. Your panel members will have read your Form F assessment and will know a good deal about your personal circumstances and lifestyle, meaning they will be able to tailor the interview to suit you as an individual.
This can feel daunting, but we’ll make sure you’re properly prepared in the months leading up to your panel date. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to talk with your Assessing Social Worker about the topics that might be discussed, including the kinds of questions that will be asked.
That being said, it’s good to have an idea about the kind of things you’d like to say and how you would like to present yourself to the panel.
To help, we’ve put together a few fostering panel questions to help you prepare for your panel interview!
“Why Would You Like to Be a Foster Carer?”
At Compass Fostering, the well-being and safety of our children is always our top priority. We know how much of an impact a brilliant foster carer can have on a child, and we want all our foster carers to share our dedication to providing excellent care.
It’s likely you’ll have been asked this question a few times throughout your assessment journey. Perhaps you want a career that makes a difference, or perhaps you or someone you know has had experiences with fostering in the past – whatever your reason, this question will help us get a better understanding of your motives for being a foster carer.
“What Are Your Expectations of Fostering?”
By the time you get to panel, you will have attended various training with us and will have had plenty of time to learn about fostering and everything it involves.
The panel interview helps us get to know you and what you’d be like as a foster carer. That’s why we will want to hear about everything you have learned so far about the role of a foster carer, and how you intend to approach fostering and its various challenges.
“What Is Your Support Network Like?”
While thoroughly rewarding, fostering can also be challenging and full-on at times. As well as providing wrap-around support for our foster children, we want to make sure you have an adequate support network surrounding you.
Your support network will provide you with emotional and practical support throughout your fostering journey – from comforting you when you’re feeling low to helping with the school run or doctor’s appointments. Alongside the 24/7 support, expertise, and guidance you’ll receive from Compass, we want to know that there will always be people around you that you can rely on when you need them.
“How Will Your Family Adapt to Fostering?”
Having a foster child stay come to stay in your family home will bring various changes. Part of your panel assessment will include understanding how your family will react to these changes, and how you intend to deal with them and adapt.
For example, you may already have birth children who will now be required to share their space with another child. In your answer, you might wish to discuss how you will help to build bonds between your biological children and your foster child.
Alternatively, you could be a single applicant without any birth children – in this case, you might talk about the way your broader family members will adapt to your fostering, and the kinds of things they will do to support you throughout.
Whatever your circumstances, it’s important to know and acknowledge how fostering will affect those around you – both your family members as well as the young person you’ll be caring for.
“What Did You Think About your Skills to Foster Course?”
Part of our fostering assessments is the Skills to Foster training course. We believe in empowering our carers to develop a full range of skills and professional expertise – not only to help and support the children they look after but also to enrich and enhance their own lives.
Our three-day Skills to Foster course is an important part of your assessment and will teach you about the types of care that our young people may require and how you can support them. During the training course, you’ll also have the opportunity to mix with other prospective foster carers, all of which will help inform your experience as a foster carer.
Your panel members will be interested to know about what you’ve taken away from the course, your thoughts on our REACH approach, and how the course has shaped your understanding of fostering. You’ll also be required to attend various additional training if you’re approved as a foster carer, so it’s good for us to understand what kind of topics interest you.
While it’s impossible to be fully prepared for your fostering panel, we hope that these examples give you a good idea of the types of questions you might be asked at panel. If you have any concerns or queries about your fostering panel, you should talk to your Assessing Social Worker and they will be happy to help.
You can also check out our fostering FAQ page for a range of useful articles and information on fostering!
If you’re interested in becoming a foster care with Compass, get in touch with us today to request your free digital brochure.