Panel help

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Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:09 am

Panel help

Post by Loz6635 » Wed Jul 28, 2021 10:03 am

What's the difference between:

 Representations to the agency


Application to an Independent Review Panel for a review

Any help explaining the difference would be appreciated.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2011 11:25 am

Re: Panel help

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Thu Aug 12, 2021 4:42 pm

Dear Loz6635

Welcome to the Kinship Carers’ discussion board and thank you for your post. My name is Suzie and I am FRG’s online adviser.

I think that you are referring to the 2 distinct options available to a prospective kinship foster carer who has not been approved as a foster carer at a fostering panel.

The options are to do one or the other but not both.

It is really important that you have a written copy of a letter from a senior person in children’s services setting out the reasons that you have not been approved. The timescale for challenging is 28 days.

Representations to the agency mean that you initially put in writing to children’s services that you disagree with the decision not to approve you and that you explain with reasons why this is and how you can respond to any issues or avail of any training or support to address anything viewed as a negative. You should ask children’s services to provide you with written information about their process and timescale for deciding in relation to the representations made about a negative fostering assessment.

The Independent Review Mechanism is an independent body (run by Coram Children’s Legal Centre (a charity) on behalf of the Department for Education) which can convene a panel meeting to review a decision not to approve a foster care. Please do see the information contained in the link above which explains how the panel is made up and what it can/cannot do. In particular, it can make a recommendation but not enforce a decision although children’s services should consider the panel’s recommendation or advice very carefully.

You can find out much more about both of these options in our advice sheet 2g: becoming a kinship foster carer – please see paragraphs 14 and 15 which set out what a prospective carer can do if they are not approved.

Another important issue is whether there are current care proceedings in relation the child/children you wish to care for and at what stage the court case is at. The timescale for concluding care proceedings is quite tight. If you have a solicitor, they can advise you about the negative decision and how to challenge. If not, you can write to the court yourself to update them that you wish to challenge and why. If you are not a party to the proceedings you can ask for permission to be joined as a a party .

I hope this helps. If you would like to talk things through with an adviser please call our freephone advice helpline on 0808 8010366, Mon to Fri, 9.30 am to 3.00 pm.

With best wishes


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