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STANDARD 14 - Fostering panels and the fostering service’s decision-maker


  • The fostering panel and decision maker make timely, quality and appropriate recommendations/decisions in line with the overriding objective to promote the welfare of children in foster care.


The fostering service implements clear written policies and procedures on recruitment to, and maintenance of, the central list of persons considered by them to be suitable to be members of a fostering panel (“the central list”) and on constitution of fostering panels.


Panel/s provide a quality assurance feedback to the fostering service provider on the quality of reports being presented to panel.


All necessary information is provided to panel members at least five working days in advance of the panel meeting to enable full and proper consideration.


The fostering panel makes its recommendation on the suitability of a prospective foster carer within eight months of receipt of the prospective foster carer’s application to be assessed.


Foster carers and prospective foster carers are given the opportunity to attend and be heard at all panel meetings at which their approval is being discussed and to bring a supporter to the panel if they wish.


Fostering panels have access to medical expertise and legal advice, as required.


The panel chair ensures written minutes of panel meetings are accurate and clearly cover the key issues and views expressed by panel members and record the reasons for its recommendation.


The number, skills, knowledge and experience of persons on the central list are sufficient to enable the fostering service to constitute panels that are equipped to make competent recommendations to the fostering service provider, taking into account the nature of the children and carers that the service caters for.


The fostering service provider’s decision-maker makes a considered decision that takes account of all the information available to them, including the recommendation of the fostering panel and, where applicable, the independent review panel, within seven working days of receipt of the recommendation and final set of panel minutes.


The foster carer or prospective foster carer is informed orally of the decision maker’s decision within two working days and written confirmation is sent to them within five working days.