Reviewing my Approval and Appeals


  1. Introduction
  2. The Annual Review Process
  3. Appeals - What can you do if you Disagree with the Decision

1. Introduction

Once you have been approved, your Supervising Social Worker will work with you to support and supervise you in caring for children placed with you and help your development as a carer.

Your approval will be reviewed at these times:

  • Within 12 months of your last review - your first review will also go to the fostering panel;
  • If there is a significant change to your family circumstances;
  • If you request a review;
  • Following an allegation or serious complaint.

See What happens when an Allegation is made against me or my family.

2. The Annual Review Process

Your Supervising Social Worker is responsible for your approval which is reviewed at least once a year. The purpose of the review is to consider your continued suitability as a foster carer for a particular approval and whether your terms of approval should stay the same.

Step 1 - The Report

Your Supervising Social Worker will visit you and is responsible for writing the annual review report by putting together useful information and doing the following:

  • Ask you to give written feedback, also, your own children, fostered child/young person, other significant members of the household - to find out their views;
  • Ask for written feedback from your previous and current children's social workers about the placements you have provided/are providing since the last review and to consult with the independent reviewing officer for each child;
  • Consider any complaints or allegations made by you or against you or your family;
  • Look at the training you have completed, and future training needs;
  • Review your health and safety check;
  • Review your family‚Äôs Safer Caring policy, if appropriate;
  • Provide a recommendation for your suitability and what kind of placements suit you - your approval category.

Your Supervising Social Worker will share the report with you and will ask you to add your views and sign it.

If you are not happy with any of the areas in the report, please give verbal and or written feedback.

Your Supervising Social Worker will also complete at least one unannounced visit each year.

A Disclosure and Barring check will also be completed for you and your family every three years.

Step 2 - The Fostering Panel or Review at Your Home

Your Supervising Social Worker will present the report to the fostering panel and you will be encouraged to attend. If your review report is not going to the fostering panel, a Reviewing officer will chair the meeting with you to give you an opportunity to speak to someone independent.

Reviews which do not go to panel, the Operational Manager will make the decision about your continued approval.

A Reviewing officer will chair the review and will write a report of the meeting which will be sent to you.

Step 3 - The Decision Making Process

The fostering panel or the Operational Manager will recommend whether or not the approval category is still appropriate for you. If the matter has been recommended at the fostering panel, the service's Decision Maker will decide on your approval. If your review was chaired by a Reviewing officer, the Operational manager will authorise your review.

3. Appeals - What can you do if you Disagree with the Decision

If you do not agree with the decision, you should contact the fostering service in writing within 28 days of receipt of your decision. If it is possible to resolve the disagreement the fostering service will try to do this.

You have the right of appeal over your review to the service's Decision Maker if you wish the matter to be reconsidered, for example if you do not think the process was a fair one or important information was not available.

You may choose to have the decision reviewed by the Independent Review Mechanism which is run by BAAF a completely independent body. If you decide to refer to the Independent Review Mechanism, they will receive all the appropriate reports within 10 working days of their written request.

They will be able to review recommendations made by the fostering service but the fostering service's Decision Maker will make the final decision.

The only circumstance where you cannot ask for a review by an Independent Review Panel is if you are disqualified or have been cautioned for an offence.

Written notice of the final decision and reasons must be sent to you within 7 working days of the receipt of the Independent Review Mechanism recommendation.