• To read the circulated papers carefully and to undertake preparation work prior to the meeting to ensure a thorough understanding of the case prior to panel
  • To attend the meeting prepared to raise issues and to contribute to the panel discussion.
  • To take responsibility for participating in the making of a recommendation, on each case, drawing on both personal and professional knowledge and experience.
  • To be prepared to attend additional panels if possible, if requested.
  • To participate, with other panel members, in advising on fostering policy and procedural matters as required.
  • To address diversity issues and promote anti-discriminatory practice.
  • To safeguard the confidentiality of all panel papers and panel discussions.
  • To participate in panel induction and in panel training, which will be at least one day per year
  • To participate constructively in the annual review of their panel membership.
  • To declare an interest before discussion begins if the panel member has previous knowledge of the case to be presented to panel
  • To inform the agency at once if they have been charged, cautioned or convicted for any criminal offence or if any criminal proceedings are pending.


  • Experience, either professionally or personally or both, of the placement of children in adoptive and foster families or of children being cared for away from their birth family.
  • A social work qualification is necessary for certain panel members.


  • An appreciation of the effect of separation and loss on children.
  • Some understanding of the purpose and function of the panel and of the agency which the panel is serving, or a willingness to learn.
  • To have knowledge of Fostering, interest in childcare and be committed to promoting the best interests of children.


  • Good listening and communication skills
  • The ability to read, process and analyse large amounts of complex and sometimes distressing information.
  • The ability to make an assessment and to form a view, based on the written and oral information presented to panel, and the confidence to articulate this at panel.
  • The ability to use personal and/or professional knowledge and experience to contribute to discussion and decision-making in a balanced and informed manner.
  • The ability to work co-operatively as part of a multi-disciplinary panel
  • The ability to attend at least 75% of panel meetings, arriving on time, and having read the papers and prepared questions.
  • The ability to recognise one’s own training needs and to attend at least one panel training day per year.
  • To listen to, and to question workers and applicants who attend panel with respect and consideration for their views.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of valuing diversity, and to avoid discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, religion, culture, sexuality or age.


  • A valuing of diversity in relation to issues of ethnicity, religion, gender, disability and sexuality.
  • An understanding of, and a commitment to, the need for confidentiality
  • A willingness to increase knowledge and understanding of issues through reading, discussion and training
  • A willingness to contribute constructively to the annual review of their panel membership and, as required, to that of other panel members and the Chair.
  • To listen to other panel members with respect and consideration for their views.

To apply...


Diane Williams (Fostering Panel Advisor)


020 8726 6000


[email protected]