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Fostering: Step by step guide

Your fostering service provider will meet the cost of the review, although you will need to cover your own travel costs and expenses.

Step 1

When we receive your application, we will identify the panel most suitable to consider your case. We try to keep your travelling to a reasonable distance.

Step 2

The IRM requests your consent for the fostering service provider to disclose all papers including medical information.

Step 3

We will advise you of the date, time and location of the review panel meeting giving you at least one month’s notice.  You will need to be available for up to two hours on the day of the panel.

Step 4

You will be given a date by which to submit any extra information.

The IRM Contract Manager may also request additional information from either you or the agency.  This could include information requested by the legal or medical adviser.  All the information will be considered by the review panel.

You will receive a copy of the papers sent to the panel members except any confidential third party information which cannot be shared with you.

Step 5

Review Panel meeting preparation
A friend or supporter may accompany you to panel.  Their role is to provide you with moral support; he or she cannot speak on your behalf or act as an advocate.

If you have a physical, sensory or learning impairment, or English is not your first language, you may bring an interpreter or helper with you in addition to a friend.

Your fostering service provider will be invited to send appropriate representatives to the review panel meeting.

Step 6

Review Panel meeting

Your panel members will be:

  • A panel chair
  • A professional adviser
  • Two social workers
  • Two lay members
  • A panel secretary

Panel may be observed by the IRM Cymru Contract Manager or newly  appointed panel members.

The professional adviser will be able to provide advice on legislation , guidance and research to ensure that all relevant issues are considered and the correct proceedings followed.

A panel secretary will be present to take minutes of the meeting.  The panel secretary, the professional adviser and any observers will not take part in the review panel discussions or in the making of the review panel’s recommendation.

The panel members will have questions for you and the provider’s representatives.  You will be invited in together and asked questions in turn.

The panel may need to see the provider’s representatives separately if they have questions relating to third party confidential information.

You will all then be asked to wait in the waiting room/s  while the panel discusses if further information is required from you or the agency.  When panel have all the information they require they will advise that you may leave.

The panel will discuss the case and reach a recommendation.

Step 7

After the Review Panel meeting
Within 10 working days we will send you a copy of the review panel’s minutes except any third party information.  A copy of the panel’s minutes will be sent to your fostering service provider to assist them in their decision making.

Your fostering service provider will then write to you informing you of its final decision.

Step 8

Next steps
If you are still not happy with the fostering service provider’s final decision, there is no right of appeal against it. If you remain dissatisfied, you should seek your own advice from, for example, a solicitor or the
Citizens Advice Bureau, as to what action you may take.