The final step in the process to become an approved foster parent is to attend a fostering panel. Although it may sound a little daunting, be assured that we wouldn't invite you to panel if we didn't think you were good enough.
What is a fostering panel?
A fostering panel makes a recommendation on your suitability to become a foster parent. They also make a recommendation for the terms of your approval, for example, the type of placement you can offer, and the age and number of children you can care for.
Who sits on a fostering panel?
It depends, but there are normally between six and ten people from various backgrounds, including social workers, educationists, child therapists and even people who have been in foster care themselves. They understand fostering and bring a wide range of experience into the room. In addition, there will be somebody there to take notes. Last but not least there’s you and your designated social worker, who’s there on the day to give you support.
Fostering panel interview questions
There’s no set list of questions, and every panel interview is different. It depends on your experience and the contents of your Form F. For example, they might want to know a little more about your support bubble if you're applying as a single foster parent, or they may ask you some questions around your birth children's views on fostering if you're a parent.
But it’s important to know they’re not trying to trick you or trip you up. It’s not a test or an exam. All they want to do is ask you more about you and your reasons for fostering, so they can be sure you’ll be a great addition to the profession. Also, during all the time you’ve been completing your assessment, you’ll have been talking endlessly about fostering and getting to understand more about the work and why you want to do it. This is all the preparation you really need, so try to relax and enjoy it!
How long does it take?
Fostering panel usually lasts about an hour. After that, the panel will ask you to wait outside while they talk about your application. Then they’ll ask you back in to give you some feedback about their recommendation.
What happens after the fostering panel?
The panel will speak to our agency decision maker about their recommendation, who will make the final decision on your approval. You'll be informed of the decision within 10 working days of your panel, however, we always aim to let you know as soon as possible.
If approved, you’ll sign a Foster Carer Agreement with Fosterplus, and we’ll set up a meeting with your supervising social worker who’ll help you prepare you for welcoming your first child.
You might be interested in...
Preparing for your first child
There are many things you can do to prepare for a child coming to stay in your home, such as decorating their bedroom and stocking up on their favourite foods. Read more advice from our foster parents.Read More
Supporting birth children
Your own children need to feel supported and listened to, and know you still have time for them. We often find the most successful outcomes are achieved when the entire family work together.Read More
First day with a child
When you're new to fostering, welcoming your first child through the doors may seem a little daunting so we asked some of our foster parents to share their best tips to help a child settle into your home.Read More
Can't find what you're looking for?
One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.
You can get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form with any queries that you may have.
Your local team
Find contact details for your local office team. We’re always happy for you to pop-in and chat.