The role of the Swiis Fostering Panel in considering prospective foster carers for approval – and recommending the kind of fostering they are registered for – is hugely important.

The importance of our fostering panel

In early October, we spent the day with our fostering panel members, exploring what permanence (permanent fostering) means – in particular, what it means to children and how they can be supported to feel secure and nurtured in their permanent placements.

We considered the legal basis for achieving permanence for children and the ways in which this can support or challenge a child’s sense of permanence with their fostering family. We helped our panel members to think about their role in recommending the approval of permanent foster carers; for carers who have a child in mind and in placement, and for carers who are starting out and want to provide a permanent placement to a child who is waiting for carers to be identified.

Our panel members said that the training was ‘informative and interesting’ and helped them to feel confident about making ‘the best decision for the child and carer’. When considering the role of permanent foster carers, one panel member commented on ‘the respect they are very much due’.

Permanent fostering is offered by carers to young people who won’t ever be able to return to their birth families. We approve foster carers who want to provide this type of placement from the start of their fostering journey with Swiis.

It may also be the case that carers may initially have a short-term placement, but it is decided during the placement that the young person will not be returning home. As the young person is already a part of the family, they can remain with the family on a permanent basis into adulthood. We also approve carers on this basis.

For more information about permanent fostering, please contact your local office.