Helen’s Fostering Blogs
Time to face The Panel
Our date for Panel was set a day before we went away on our summer holiday with our family. So in between packing, having my nails done and buying my sun-cream we also had to prepare ourselves for Panel.
I don’t recall feeling nervous about Panel but it did feel like a really big deal, all our hopes of becoming foster carers was riding on a room full of strangers seeing that we were the right family for such an important job.
I recall it was a lovely warm day in July and I wanted to wear flip-flops and my husband had opted for shorts, I wasn’t sure if this was appropriate, to my relief I noticed the gentleman chairing the Panel was also wearing shorts and he was also happy that my husband had gone for the same option of clothing that morning.
It felt like forever waiting to go into the room, it was explained to us that we would only be present for part of the meeting, probably no more than 10 mins. That 10 minutes in a room full of strangers did feel a little intimidating and very long.
We were only asked a few questions before we were asked to leave the room. Our Supporting Social Worker was amazing as always and made us feel more at ease and whilst waiting we made a lot of small talk.
Finally, we were asked to return to the room to be informed that everyone had agreed to us being approved as foster carers. That moment feels like it should feel bigger than it actually does, inside it can feel like you’ve just been selected for the X Factor Finals, but we sat there very politely said thank you and walked out of the room with an overwhelming feeling of relief.
We chatted to our Supporting Social Worker as we took a slow walk back to our car and eventually our home. George and I then went straight into holiday mode We had to pick George’s daughter and drop the cat off to the cattery and finish packing those last few important items such as the pack of playing cards and passports.
It all felt a bit surreal.We had been asked by our agency if we wanted to hear about any possible placements whilst we were away on holiday.
We considered this and decided that it was better if we waited until we returned home from holiday. Somehow it didn’t seem right to be sitting round the side of a pool, soaking up the days sunshine with our family whilst reading about children who had and were having such a difficult time.
Besides we also know that once we had been placed with children the likelihood of us having a carefree holiday on our own for a while was going to be unlikely so we might as well make the most of it whilst we could.
Helen – A Blogging Foster Carer – Caring for children’s futures.