If you are a prospective or an existing foster carer who has recently received a qualifying determination which you don’t agree with, you have two options:
However, you can not do both. The cost of having your case reviewed is met by your provider.
The IRM is a review process conducted by a Review Panel which is independent of fostering service providers.
If you choose to use the IRM the review panel will, where appropriate:
The Review Panel considers the following information to make its recommendation:
If the Review Panel needs further information, this will be requested from your fostering service provider before the panel meeting, unless it would be more appropriate to ask you directly.
You will be invited to attend the meeting and a separate waiting room will be made available to you and the representatives from your fostering service provider. The Review Panel will meet with yourself and the representatives from your provider to ask for clarification of information contained in the reports. They may need to meet separately with your fostering provider during the meeting to clarify any third party confidential information that you are not entitled to see. The panel will also obtain legal advice and medical advice, should it wish to do so.
The Review Panel makes its recommendation and will provide you with a copy of both its recommendation and reasons and a set of minutes, although this will not contain a record of any third party confidential information that was discussed. A copy of the panel’s recommendation and reasons and a full set of minutes will be sent to your fostering service provider to assist them in their decision making.
If the IRM is reviewing proposed changes to your terms of approval, they may recommend terms that they consider appropriate. However, if the panel considers that you are not suitable to foster, they have the power to recommend that you are not suitable to act as a foster parent. As in all cases, it is for your fostering service provider to make the final decision about your approval.
The foster service provider must take the review panel’s recommendation into account as well as the recommendation of the fostering panel when making its final decision on your suitability to foster a child.
A "qualifying determination" is a determination made by an fostering service provider that it considers a prospective or existing foster carer is not suitable to foster a child, and does not propose to approve him/her as suitable to foster a child. A qualifying determination will be issued after either an assessment report or a review report has been prepared and considered by the agency decision maker.