Alison has worked as a nursery nurse looking after children with disabilities for a number of years, and Simon is ready to support another child at home. As their own children had moved out, they had a spare room and a loving home to offer; and after seeing their friends foster, they decided they'd love to do the same for a child with special needs. They enquired about fostering in February this year, and after 8 months had their fostering panel. They wanted to share their experience of the Fostering Panel meeting for other people looking to foster or in the Assessment Process, as its often a scary wait!
On the day of our panel meeting for Approval as Long Term Foster Carers, myself and Simon had a mixture of emotions, from excitement to being a little nervous, although we had been told by our Independent Social Worker (who had been completing our Form F) Sharon, and Credo Placement Coordinator Sarah that it would all be very relaxed and that there would be nothing to worry about. When we arrived at Credo Care's office in Nuneaton, Sharon was waiting for us and we chatted with her in the reception are whilst we waited to be called in.
After a short while, Office Manager Kate called us in, and we came into a room with a very friendly and welcoming reception, which put us at ease straight away! The chairperson of the meeting and the rest of the panel members all introduced theirselves, and gave us a brief description of their own fostering experiences. Myself and Simon then did the same.
Sharon was supporting us all the way throughout the meeting, which was was really great and appreciated - we ended up having plenty of laughs, and it made our experience of panel a very positive one. Regarding the questions that were asked, I felt there was no pressure, and we were allowed time to answer at our own pace. Soon we were done, and we left the room to wait on the Panel's decision.
We didn't have to wait too long to be called back into the meeting room - and we were extremely happy to be told that we would be recommended for Approval! This meant that the outcome would be passed on to Credo Care's Agency Decision Maker, Greg. The panel and the chair gave us loads more information about the whole experience of fostering and what we should expect next, which was brilliant information as we were very keen to start! We shortly after received a letter from Greg and Credo Care welcoming us to the agency as Long Term Specialist Foster Carers!
To sum it all up, we had a surprisingly relaxed, and very positive experience of the Fostering Panel, and we are very much looking forward to our future as Foster Carers and welcoming our first placement!