CoramBAAF Open Course

Agency Decision Makers: Their role and responsibilities for fostering and permanency panels


Decision makers in fostering and adoption agencies have a vital but often under-explored role. Many decision makers describe finding themselves in the role with little or no preparation, and with few arenas locally to share dilemmas or discuss best practice. What is the best process for reaching a sound decision? How can you avoid it simply becoming a ‘rubber-stamping’ exercise? What is your role in relation to the quality assurance of the panel’s activities? How should a decision maker appraise a panel chair? What does a reasonable decision look like? How should it be conveyed?

Statutory guidance and standards for adoption and fostering services have a good deal to say about the agency decision maker role and the decision making process. Based on the very latest guidance and research, this workshop will explore these issues and dilemmas and provide useful templates for self-audit and future decision making.


By the end of the day participants will have:

  • Developed a good working knowledge of the implications of some of the most significant recent judgements related to agency decision making;
  • Reflected upon the process of decision making in the context of the fostering, adoption and permanency legislative framework;
  • Considered ways to ensure that the basis of the decision making is sound, and how to ensure decisions are communicated effectively;
  • Reflected on quality assurance issues including quality of minutes.


Jacqui Lawrence, Associate Trainer, CoramBAAF.

Jacqui has worked within social care sector for over 30 years and as Social Worker in the children and families sector for over 20 years. She currently works as an independent social worker and within the education setting as a senior leader and safeguarding lead, bridging the gap between education and social care, a role she is very passionate about.

She has been a community school governor for over 12 years. Jacqui worked for BAAF and CoramBAAF as a Trainer & consultant for over 10 years specialising in fostering and has contributed to various CoramBAAF Forms, books and innovative projects. She is interested in managing team restructures and exploring diversity within social care. Jacqui sits on fostering panels including the IRM panel and is a member of the stakeholders panel for the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care and bridging the gap of research and evidenced based practice. She covers the Birmingham area, London, South and South East areas.


Agency decision makers or those anticipating taking on an agency decision making role.

On open courses we can accommodate a maximum of four delegates from one organisation only. For a larger group booking, please see the information on commissioned training.

For social workers, reflection on this session may contribute to your continuing professional development (CPD).

Total of 22 places available.


Practice Note 70. The Fostering Decision-Maker (England)Practice Note 70. The Fostering Decision-Maker (England)

This Practice Note offers guidance for fostering decision-makers in a range of matters to help them achieve high standards in undertaking this role.

Available free as a PDF version for all CoramBAAF members. Click here to find out more about becoming a member.


Registration 9.45 am
Start 10.00 am*
Close 4.00 pm*

*Times subject to change


Full or associate CoramBAAF member - £115.00 + £23.00 VAT = £138
Individual CoramBAAF member - £95.00 + £19.00 VAT = £114.00
Non-member - £140.00 + £28.00 VAT = £168.00
*Adopters/Fosters carers - £95.00 + £19.00 VAT = £114.00

*Please contact our events team via email to secure your place. 


Telephone 020 7520 2043


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