What to expect at panel

What to expect at panel

The role of Diagrama’s Fostering Panel is to make a recommendation on your suitability to be a foster carer, based on information prepared by the assessing social worker.

Prior to the meeting, Panel members will have read your assessment, and considered areas they would like to discuss with you and your social worker.

You’ll be invited to attend the Panel meeting - we believe it is important that you meet the people who will be making this important recommendation.

Your social worker has experience and understanding of the Panel process and they will talk everything through before the meeting.

The Panel includes independent social workers, independent community members, people with personal experience of fostering and adoption, a therapist, and a medical adviser. They all have different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and faiths.

Attending your fostering panel hearing

On the day of your panel hearing, you should aim to arrive early so you will have the opportunity to talk with your social worker before your assessment is presented. If you are a single applicant, a relative or friend can accompany you.

At the meeting

You may be asked several questions to clarify matters raised in the reports. Panel members understand that you might be nervous and will make every effort to treat you as sensitively as possible.

You will then be asked to wait outside while panel members consider their recommendation. The panel chair will then come to tell you and your social worker in private what this is.

Once the Panel has made a recommendation, this goes to the Agency Decision Maker, who has seven days after receiving the minutes of the meeting, to make a formal decision about your application (this is called a Qualifying Determination). You will be informed verbally and in writing of the decision.

If your application is approved, you will then move onto the matching stage.

In the event that your application is not approved you will be notified in writing, with the reasons why. You will then have 28 days in which to decide one of the following:

  • To accept the proposed decision
  • To make representations back to the Panel
  • To apply to the Independent Review Mechanism – Adoption and Fostering (IRM).

Your Diagrama social worker will be there to support you throughout this stage.