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The Fostering Services (Wales) Regulations 2003

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Establishment of fostering panel

24.—(1) Subject to paragraph (5), the fostering service provider must establish at least one panel, to be known as a fostering panel, in accordance with this regulation.

(2) The fostering service provider must appoint to chair the panel either—

(a)a senior member of staff of the fostering service provider who is not responsible for the day to day management of any person carrying out assessments of prospective foster parents; or

(b)such other person not being an employee, member, partner or director of the fostering service provider, who has the skills and experience necessary for chairing a fostering panel.

(3) Subject to paragraph (5), the fostering panel must not consist of more than 10 members including the person appointed under paragraph (2) and must include—

(a)two social workers employed by the fostering service provider, one of whom has child care expertise and the other of whom has expertise in the provision of a fostering service;

(b)in the case of a fostering agency—

(i)if the registered provider is an individual, that individual;

(ii)if the registered provider is an organisation, at least one of its directors or the responsible individual;

(c)in the case of a local authority fostering service, at least one elected member of the local authority; and

(d)at least four other persons (in this regulation referred to as “independent members”), including at least one person who is, or within the previous two years has been, a foster parent for a fostering service provider other than the one whose fostering panel is established.

(4) The fostering service provider must appoint a member of the fostering panel who will act as chair if the person appointed to chair the panel is absent or his or her office is vacant (“the vice chair”).

(5) A fostering panel may be established jointly by any two but not more than three fostering service providers, and if such a fostering panel is established—

(a)the maximum number of members who may be appointed to that panel is eleven;

(b)each fostering service provider must appoint two persons to the panel, one of whom falls within paragraph (3)(a), and the other of whom falls within paragraph (3)(b) or (c), as the case may be;

(c)by agreement between the fostering service providers there must be appointed—

(i)a person to chair the panel;

(ii)at least four independent members including at least one person who is, or within the previous two years has been, a foster parent for a fostering service provider other than any of those whose fostering panel is being established; and

(iii)a member of the panel who will act as chair if the person appointed to chair the panel is absent or his or her office is vacant (“the vice chair”).

(6) A fostering panel member must not hold office for a term exceeding three years, and may not hold office for the panel of the same fostering service provider for more than two consecutive terms.

(7) Any panel member may resign his or her office at any time by giving one month’s notice in writing to the fostering service provider.

(8) Where a fostering service provider is of the opinion that any member of the fostering panel is unsuitable or unable to remain in office, it may terminate that member’s office at any time by giving to the member notice in writing.

(9) A person must not be appointed as an independent member of a fostering panel if—

(a)the person is a foster parent approved by the fostering service provider;

(b)the person is employed by the fostering service provider;

(c)the person is concerned in the management of the fostering service provider;

(d)in the case of a local authority fostering service, the person is an elected member of the local authority; or

(e)in the case of a fostering agency, the person is related to an employee of the registered provider, or to any person concerned in the management of the fostering agency.

(10) For the purposes of paragraph (9)(e), a person (“person A”) is related to another person (“person B”) if person A is—

(a)a member of the household of, or married to person B;

(b)the son, daughter, mother, father, sister or brother of person B; or

(c)the son, daughter, mother, father, sister or brother of the person to whom person B is married.

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