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Ceredigion Fostering Panel Chair

Closing date: 04/02/2021

Reference: REQ102571

Casual

3,000 *

Various Locations within Ceredigion

*All salary values are pro-rata.

About the role

Ceredigion County Council Fostering Service is seeking expressions of interest for an Independent Fostering Panel Chair. We particularly welcome applicants who have been adopted and/or fostered themselves as well as applicants with professional or personal experience of social care, social care, medical and or educational background.

Applicants who are Ceredigion Council Employees will not be considered.

Venue: Fostering Panels are usually held in one of Ceredigion County Council’s offices however, virtual panels do take place.

Hours: One panel a month 9.30 – 3.30 on a Thursday (3rd of every month)

Payment: £256 full day / £128 half day

The Chair is an “appointed person” who exercises their functions independently. Therefore, they do not have an employee status but are required to have worker status to enable the processing of payment and the necessary PAYE/NIC by Ceredigion County Council, who is liable to operate this system on taxable earnings due to HMRC Off Payroll Working Rules (IR35). Panel members will be required to provide their bank details to enable payment of fees.

Independent Panel Members who hold self-employed business status can undertake this role but will also be subject to HMRC Off Payroll Working Rules (IR35).

It is the appointed Chairs responsibility to deal with any queries or changes in PAYE status via HMRC.

Role of foster panel chair 

The role of panel chair will include chairing panel meetings, ensuring that all items of business are covered and that the panel operates in accordance with The Fostering Panels (Establishment and Functions)(Wales) Regulations 2018 and relevant policies and procedures of Ceredigion County Council.

You will facilitate the active participation of all panel members in contributing to the panel’s consideration of cases and to the making of clear and well-evidenced recommendations with the reasons for these.

You will ensure that clear and accurate records of meetings are produced and approved prior to circulation.

You will have an understanding of the fostering process, practice and the legislative framework, experience of the placement of children in care and experience of chairing complex meetings. If you would like to make a difference to the lives of looked after children, then please consider applying.

Job Description 

  • To chair panel meetings, ensuring that all items of business are covered and that the panel operates in accordance with The Fostering Panels (Establishment and Functions) (Wales) Regulations 2018 and the policies and procedures of the agency.
  • To prepare for panel meetings, reading panel papers carefully, identifying key issues and alerting the professional advisor if necessary to ensure, as far as possible, that the case is adequate for submission to panel.
  • To facilitate the active participation of all panel members in contributing to the panel’s consideration of cases and to the making of clear and well evidenced recommendations with the reasons for these.
  • To ensure that all those attending panel are treated with respect and courtesy.
  • To address diversity issues and to promote anti-discriminatory practice at all times.
  • To ensure that clear and accurate minutes are written, which record any serious reservations which panel members may have, and to be involved in checking and agreeing draft minutes with other panel members before they are sent to the decision maker.
  • To liaise with the decision maker and with other senior managers as required.
  • To ensure, along with the professional advisor, that senior managers are aware of issues of concern, in relation both to individual cases and to more general matters.
  • To be involved in the recruitment and appointment of panel members and in any consideration about terminating the appointment of a member.
  • To review, possibly with the professional advisor, the performance of the panel members as the need arises, and at least annually.
  • To assist in developing, promoting and monitoring policies, procedures, and high standards of work in fostering services in the authority.
  • To assist in planning training for members and to participate in this at least one day per year.
  • To safeguard the confidentiality of all panel papers and panel discussions.

To be involved in:

  • Deciding whether a case is adequate for submission to panel.
  • Deciding on the attendance of observers at panel.
  • Deciding on the participation of a panel member who declares an interest in a case.
  • Deciding when an extra panel may be necessary.
  • The preparation of an annual report to the panel’s work.

Person Specification

Experience and qualifications

  • Experience, either professionally or personally or both, of the placement of children in foster families and of children being cared for away from their birth family.
  • Experience of chairing complex meetings.

Knowledge

  • An appreciation of the effect of separation and loss on children.
  • An awareness of the richness of different kinds of families and their potential for meeting children’s needs.
  • 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 legislative framework for the work of the panel, or the capacity to develop this knowledge quickly.

Abilities

  • 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.
  • The ability to communicate well and clearly, both verbally and in writing.
  • The ability to identify key issues and possible solutions and to communicate these clearly.
  • To be able to communicate through Welsh and English would be desirable.
  • 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 to take up issues as required with the agency, liaising with the decision maker and other senior managers.
  • When this is an agency requirement, the ability, working with the professional advisor, to review each panel member’s performance 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.

Attitudes

  • A commitment to keeping children within their own family or community where this is possible and to maintaining contact between children living in foster families and their birth families where this appears to be in the child’s best interests.
  • A commitment to fostering as a way of meeting a child’s needs, where this appears to be in the child’s best interests.
  • A commitment to safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare in foster care.
  • A valuing of diversity in relation to issues of ethnicity, religion, gender, disability and sexuality.
  • An understanding of, and a commitment to, the need for confidentiality.
  • A willingness to increase knowledge and understanding of issues through reading, discussion and training.
  • A willingness to contribute constructively to the annual review of their role as panel chair, if this is an agency requirement

Please forward your CV along with the name and details of a referee from your most recent employment/agency to: The Fostering Team Manager – Sandra Jones (email: Sandra.jones@ceredigion.gov.uk)

An enhanced disclosure check with the Disclosure and Barring Service will be undertaken for this role.

If your CV highlights you have the experience and skills to undertake this role then you will be invited to interview