What To Expect On Your Fostering Panel Day

Preparing for your fostering day panel

While progressing through your fostering application, you will become very familiar with the phrase ‘panel day’. Your panel day can feel like a daunting experience, but it’s an essential part of your fostering journey. The truth is many people leave this experience expressing that the panel meeting was a lot less intimidating than they had expected.

With all of this in mind, let’s discuss what a typical fostering panel day looks like, and how you can prepare yourself for any nerves you may experience.

What is panel and who sits on the meeting?

The main purpose of a fostering panel is to make a recommendation on your suitability to become a foster carer/s. During this process, they will also make recommendations relating to the type of placements you can offer, the age of the child/ren and the number of children you can care for.


What questions are asked at my panel interview?

There are no set questions that are outlined, and every fostering panel interview will vary depending on your fostering assessment and the experience you will be able to provide. For example, they might want to know more information on your support network, your birth children’s views on fostering, how you will deal with the changes in your lifestyle due to becoming a foster carer/s etc.

It’s important to remember that they aren’t trying to trip you up or test you. It’s their job to collect all the information and make an informed decision about whether you will make a great addition to the fostering service. It’s also important to remember that during your application process, you will have been talking about fostering a lot and gaining a great understanding of what to expect in your new role, so you’ll know how to answer this question already.


How long does panel last for?

Your fostering panel should last around an hour. After this, you will be asked to wait outside whilst they discuss your application. You will then be invited back in and given feedback based on the panel’s recommendation for your approval.

After your fostering panel, they will speak to Family Care’s Agency Decision Maker (ADM) about their recommendation for you. The ADM will then make the final decision on your approval. You’ll be informed of the decision as soon as possible by one of our fostering team members.

If approved, you’ll sign a Foster Carer Agreement with Family Care, and we’ll set up a meeting with our Senior Fostering Administrator and your Supervising Social Worker who’ll help you prepare in welcoming your first child/ren into your home.


Dealing with pre-panel nerves:

It’s normal for you to be nervous before attending your panel day. After all, it shows that you care and that you want to make a life-changing difference to children in need.

However, we want to reassure you and help support you with these nerves. Here are some tips to prepare you for your fostering panel day:

  • Deep Breathing: Practice deep breathing exercises to calm your nerves. Breathe in slowly through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat several times.
  • Positive Affirmations: Repeat positive affirmations to yourself to boost your confidence and calm your nerves. Phrases like “I am calm and capable,” “I can handle this,” or “I am prepared and confident” can be helpful.
  • Seek Support from your SSW: Talk to your Supervising Social Worker about your pre-panel nerves. Sometimes, just expressing your feelings can help alleviate them. Plus, your SSW can offer valuable advice and support.

It’s important to remember that the fostering application is rigorous, and you will only attend the panel interview if we believe you will make a good foster carer. Be confident in the skills you will be able to offer the fostering service.

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