Purpose and Function
The Panel oversees the conduct of assessments and annual reviews of approved foster carers, advises on any relevant matters in relation to the Fostering Service or Agency and makes recommendations to the Agency Decision Maker about quality issues and performance standards.
In particular, the Panel makes recommendations as to the following:
The suitability of applicants to act as foster carers and terms of their approval (including Kinship Foster Carers).
Exemptions from the limit to the number of children placed with foster carers.
The continued suitability of the foster carers and whether the terms of the approval remain appropriate (after the first annual review of foster carers and any other review where significant changes or termination of approval is recommended.
Any other special matters relevant to a foster carer which the Chair of the Panel considers appropriate to be referred.
The Panel will also receive and consider any representations challenging a decision not to approve an applicant as suitable, or to terminate or revise the terms of a foster carer's approval, Assessment and Approval of Foster Carers Procedure.
Allegations and complaints
If an allegation is made about another person’s behaviour towards a child, a foster carer must inform their fostering social worker or the child’s social worker.If allegations are made against a foster carer to a social worker, they have a responsibility to make the foster carer aware.
One in six foster carers have a complaint or allegation made against them during their fostering career.