West Berkshire Council are looking to recruit an Independent Foster Panel Chair
Fostering Panels, which generally last around four hours (9.30 start) take place generally monthly, with additional sessions usually in March and October, together with two Business Meetings and at least one training session annually. In addition, occasional “emergency” sessions may be required. Meetings are currently taking place virtually via Zoom.
The panel provides independent oversight of the recruitment, assessment and review of foster carers and connected persons and makes reasoned recommendations about their suitability to foster. The panel also considers and makes recommendations on long-term fostering matches.
Excellent listening, oral and written communication skills are essential to the role along with the ability to make balanced and informed recommendations based on the written and spoken information presented to the panel. Applicants should have experience of chairing meetings and should have the ability to manage complex discussions, where a wide variety of views may be expressed, in order to reach a consensus.
Applicants must have the ability to facilitate the active participation of all panel members to identify key issues assisting panel to reach robust recommendations regarding the approval of foster carers or their ongoing registration.
Applicants should have a sound knowledge of Fostering legislation and practice guidance. Knowledge and experience of fostering, including the placement of children with wider families or friends and the needs of children being cared for away from their birth family is essential. We invite applicants who have previous experience professionally and/or personally with looked after children in foster care/with kinship carers or away from birth family
Panel members, including the Chair will be expected to undergo a yearly appraisal.
We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and we expect all employees to share this commitment and undertake appropriate checks.
The Independent Panel Chair will paid be £500 per panel session.
If you are interested in this role please contact Keith Langley (Family Placement Team Manager – Foster Panel Adviser) on 01635 503102 or Helen Benn (Business Support Administrator) on 01635 503785 for an informal discussion.