One of the most common questions we get asked is how to prepare for panel.
Panel can feel like an intimidating process and people may feel like it is a test.
Below we outline how to approach panel and make the experience a little less nerve wracking.
Relax and be yourself
Not as easy as it sounds, but try to relax and let your personality show.
You will see a friendly face as your Social worker will be there. The rest of the panel will be made of people with fostering experience, people who have been previously been in foster care alongside people with experience in other areas such as medicine.
Remember they are just people and their job isn’t to prevent you become foster parents. They are just there to protect the young people in care.
The panel will have information about you and your application and may ask questions relating to this. Just be honest about why you want to do it and what your skills and experience are. They will not expect you to be superheroes, just someone who is willing to be open and learn.
There is no such thing as an ideal foster carer. All carers have their own ways, methods, strengths and weaknesses. So be honest and be yourself.
Speak to your social worker on the run up to your panel interview and ask what to expect.
Having an expectation of what will happen when you get there, how long you will be there and who will be on the panel will all help your preparation
It is a good idea to ask what kind of questions to expect as this will allow you to do some preparations and not have to feel like you have to think on your feet and miss the chance to provide information that could be useful.