Fostering Panel - Approval of Foster Carers

To ensure the Department complies with Regulations in relation to the approval and review of Foster Carers.

Policy Status

 

 

Practice is based on and informed by best practice guidance from the United Kingdom jurisdictions including

 

 

Key Points

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ø Either the Chair or one of the Vice Chairs (in the absence of the chair).

Ø One of the  Social Worker representatives with at least three years post qualifying experience

Ø At least three other members

Ø The Agency Advisor will attend Panel but is not a voting member

 

 

 

Standards

 

 

o   list the information taken into account in reaching the decision;

o   identify key arguments;

o   consider if they are satisfied with the approach of the Panel and recommendation and are satisfied as to its fairness and that the Panel has properly addressed the arguments;

o   consider whether any additional information now available to them that was not before the Panel has an impact on the reasons or recommendation;

o   identify the Panel's reasons for the recommendation which the Decision Maker does or does not wish to adopt; and

o   state what reasons they are adopting and any further reasons for their decision.

 

 Tasks

 

 

No

Task

Responsible officer

Record required

Performance standard

1

Contact the Panel Administrator (PA) in the Family Placement Service for inclusion on Panel Agenda for:

·         All applications for fostering and kinship

·         1st and 4th Reviews and any Review as requested by the Department,

·         Notification of Internal Reviews

·         Reviews concerning variation of approval or termination of approval

·         Resignations,

·         Disruptions

·         Notification of Exemptions to Approval Category,

·         Reports of allegations against or abuse by carers, or concern regarding conduct or standards of care

·         Submissions by Foster Carers following receipt of a "Qualifying Determination"

·         Formal complaints against carers

·         Advice if necessary from Panel about how to proceed in respect of a review or assessment.

 

 Supervising Social Worker (SSW)

Child's Social Worker (CSW)

Family Placement Service (FPS) Team Manager

Fostering Panel Diary

 As required

2

 Supervising Social Worker  (SSW) or Child's Social Worker (CSW) is given the date of the Panel

 

Panel Administrator (PA)

 

Fostering Panel Diary

Informed immediately

 

 

3

All documents having first been fully quality assured (QA)by the  Social Worker and their Manager to be supplied to the Agency Advisor to the Fostering Panel for final QA 15 days before the Panel meeting.

SSW

 CSW

CSW Team Manager

Agency Advisor

Assessment

Review documents

Other panel documents as detailed

15 days before Panel

4

All documents, fully Qa'd and signed, supplied to the PA in Family Placement Service 7 working days before the Panel meeting.

SSW

CSW

PA

See appendix attached

7 days before Panel

5

For details of documents required by Panel see appendix attached.

 SSW

CCSW

 

 

6

Agenda is drafted detailing time for presenting workers re: attendance at Panel and communicated to them

PA

Agenda

Guide for attending Panel

Evaluation Form

7 days before Panel

Meeting

7

Make Panel Pack available for Panel members to collect.

Invite Foster Carers to attend re

-           Approval

-           First Review and subsequent Reviews

-           Following an allegation or complaint or an exceptional review or submission re Qualifying Determination. Include Guide for those attending Panel and Panel profile

PA

Invite letter

Guide for those attending Panel

Panel profile

Evaluation Form

5 days before Panel meeting

8

Notify carers verbally of Panel recommendation

Chair (if carers/applicants attend panel) or SSW

Carer's contact record

Within 24 hours of

Panel, usually on that same day.

9 a)

 

9b)

Send draft Panel Minutes to members and Chair

Endorse minutes as accurate reflection of issues and views discussed and Panel Chair to sign etc.

PA

 

Chair and Panel members

Panel Minutes and documentation

Within 5 working days of Panel

Within 7 working days of Panel

10

Send final Minutes and all Panel documentation with recommendations to the Agency Decision Maker (ADM) who makes a decision.

PA

 

Minutes and Panel papers

Within 7 working days of Panel  

11

Agency Decision Maker makes decision and sends ratification to PA

ADM

PA

ADM decision and ratification

Within 14 working days of Panel

12

 

 

Notify carer orally of decisions about approvals, reviews and agreed changes to terms and conditions.

 

SSW

 

Carer's contact record

 

Within 2 working days of decision

 

13

Panel Minutes , original documentation, assessment and ratification placed on file

PA

Carer's file

Panel Minutes

Assessment /review/ resignation etc

Within 5 working days of decision

14

A letter and 2 copies of new/revised Foster Carer Agreement sent to carers.

PA

Letter

Foster Carer Agreement

Within 5 working days of ADM decision

 

15

Enter details as required onto Register of Foster Carers

PA

Register of Foster Carers

Within 5 working Days

16

 

In case of a "Qualifying Determination" (QD) notify and advise orally.

SSW

 

Carer's contact record

2 working days

17

Provide the applicant/carer with the Panel Minutes relevant to them, written summary of reasons i.e QD notice and timescale and information about making a submission.

PA

Carer's contact record

Panel Minutes

Within 5 days of decision

18

Refer any submission to the next Review Panel which will make recommendations to the Agency Decision Maker. Follow process and timescales above.

FPS Team Manager

PA

 

Panel Agenda

Next available Panel

19

Final decision by the Agency Decision Maker taking Review Panel and original Fostering Panel recommendations into account.

Agency Decision Maker

Panel Minutes and QD and Panel documents

5 working days

20

Carer notified a) orally and

b) in writing of final decision with summary of information taken into account, key arguments  and reasons.

a)SSW /FPSTM.

b) FPSTM

Contact Record

Letter with decision

2 working days

 

5 working days