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Fostering Panel Independent Vice Chair

Job Introduction

The Foster Panel in Staffordshire covers both mainstream and connected foster care applications and is consequently a busy panel. We recognise that our panel members are central to the success of our fostering panel.

Fostering panels run every Wednesday and last for up to 6 hours but can be longer or shorter dependent upon the panel business.

It will involve 1 - 2 panels per month.



Main Responsibility

We are looking to appoint an additional Vice Chair for our busy fostering panel.

You will have the opportunity to also Chair 3-5 panels a year and will be available to step in for the Chairperson during any holiday and sickness.

Staffordshire’s Vice Chairs also support the wider fostering service with additional tasks such as considering changes of approval and long-term matches that often sit outside of fostering panel.  

The Ideal Candidate

You will have :

  • at least 2-3 years’ experience of sitting as a panel member,
  • an understanding of the needs for a wide variety of foster carers that can offer a rich selection of home environments for our children requiring foster placements.
  • an appreciation of the effect of separation and loss on children.
  • an understanding of the purpose and function of the panel and of the agency which the panel is serving.
  • an understanding of the fostering process and practice and of the fostering regulations and standards, or the capacity to develop this knowledge quickly.
  • the authority and competence to chair a panel, ensuring that the business is covered and that the panel operates in accordance with regulations and the policies and procedures of the agency.
  • excellent interpersonal and listening skills and the ability to communicate well and clearly both verbally and in writing.
  • the ability to facilitate the active participation of all panel members in contributing to the panel’s consideration of cases and recommendations.
  • the ability to manage the expression of strongly held but possibly conflicting views by panel members and to help the panel to reach a recommendation which takes account of all these views.
  • the ability, working with the professional adviser, to review each panel member’s performance both when required, and at least annually, ensuring that this is a helpful and constructive process for both the panel member and the panel as a whole.

You will be required to attend an interview.

For an informal discussion please contact Julia Challinor, Fostering Central Panel and Approval Team Manager  at or on 01785 895058

About Staffordshire County Council

We are no ordinary county council:

Our Values:

The core of who we are as an organisation. Just like we all have personal values that shape our thoughts and behaviour, organisational values drive how we think and act collectively.

Our values were created and shaped by colleague feedback and national best practice and they sit at the heart of People Strategy:

We have a real sense of community spirit that brings our people together. This feeling of belonging means we are all connected to what we do and take pride in the difference we make every day for Staffordshire people. We are ambitious and our sights are set firmly on a better future.

We look forward and race ahead - that goes for your career too. 

Our benefits:

We recognise that it is our employees that are central to everything we do. We aim to create a supportive working environment where employees can achieve their full potential and achieve a healthy work-life balance. 

In addition to your salary, as a member of staff, you will have access to Our rewards and benefits - Careers at Staffordshire

Our recruitment process:

As an Authority we are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people/vulnerable adults and expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Staffordshire County Council is an equal opportunities organisation and Disability Confident employer. We encourage applications from all background and communities

As part of our commitment as a Disability Confident employer, a Gold Award Armed Forces employer and our commitment to supporting care leavers - we offer a guaranteed interview as long as your application meets the minimum criteria for the post. 

As you’ll know safeguarding and promoting the welfare of our children and young people/vulnerable adults is important to us and that’s why this position is subject to a criminal record check from the Disclosure and Barring Service. If applicable you should disclose details of unspent and unfiltered spent reprimands, formal warnings, cautions and convictions in your application form.


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Disability confident committed Armed Forces Covenant. Proudly supporting those who serve. Gold Award