Job description

• Chair Panel meetings, ensure all items on agenda are covered and the panel is following regulation, policy and procedure outlined by Southend borough Council
• Maintain confidentiality and panel documents and panel discussions
• Read papers before panel, identify key issues and liaise with panel advisor if necessary, to ensure the case has adequate information to be presented at panel
• Facilitate discussion from all panel members, ensure panel members are contributing to the discussion with their evidenced recommendations
• Take responsibility in participating in each case discussion, making a recommendation based on your own personal and professional knowledge
• Ensure panel attendees are treated with respect and courtesy
• Ensure accurate minutes are recorded with reference to any serious reservations panel members may have, Panel chair has responsibility to check minutes have been drafted accurately before they are sent to Agency Decision Maker and the next panel meeting.
• Liaise with Agency Decision Maker and with other directors as required
• Ensure with panel advisor, the directors are aware of issues of concerns with individual cases in addition to general matters
• Be involved in recruitment of new panel members and in consideration of terminating a Panel Members appointment
• Participate in annual review of panel membership or when needed
• Address issues surrounding diversity and promote anti-discriminatory practice
• Assist the Fostering team in developing, promoting and monitoring policies and procedures and high work standards
• Be prepared to assist in training panel members additional meetings if requested
• Attend all required training (panel induction and panel training) regularly

Panel chair must also:

• Deciding whether a case is adequate for submission to panel
• Deciding attendance of observers present at panel
• Deciding participation of panel member who declare interest in case
• Deciding when addition panels are required
• Preparation of annual report of panels work


• Experience professionally or personally (or both) of Looked After Child who has been placement of children with foster families or children being care away from their birth family.
• Experience chairing complex meetings
• Suitable qualifications to take on the Chair role.

Panel members are expected to have knowledge:

• Of effect of separation and loss of children,
• Awareness of the different kinds of families and potential differing of child’s need
• Understand or have the willingness to understand the aims and role of Panel, in relation to the service Southend-On-Sea Council is providing to children and young people
• Understand fostering process, practice, and legislative framework for panel


Chair a panel with authority and competence to ensure all agenda items are covered and regulations, policies and procedures are adhered to.

Panel members should have good listening and communications skills, with the competency to make informed and balanced decisions based on information presented to them in oral and written format using personal and professional knowledge

The ability to read process and analyse large amounts of complex and in cases distressing information.

Ability to work within a multi-disciplinary team collaboratively

Use personal and professional experience to contribute to discussion

The ability to identify key issues, suggestions of solutions and communicate clearly
The ability to facilitate all panel members to contribute to discussion on all cases and make recommendations

Ensure panel attendees are respected whilst ensuring panel members are given the opportunity to explore concerns, they have openly and honestly

Manage panel members expression of conflicting view whilst enabling panel to help reach a recommendation which takes into account all views

The ability to raise issues with Fostering Team, Agency Decision Maker and other senior managers.

Working with panel advisor to review Panel members performance annually and on specific occasions to provide feedback in order to improve the panel member and panel.


Commitment to keeping children with their own family or community where possible, maintaining contact between children living in foster families and their birth families where it is the child’s best interest

Commitment to making decisions on where the child’s needs will be met with their best interest

Commitment to safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare in foster care
In preparation for panel meetings, all information will be received electronically 7 working days prior to panel, and equipment will be provided to access the documents.

Southend Borough Council are committed to the safeguarding and promoting welfare of children and young people. All employees are expected to share the same commitment and partake in appropriate checks (e.g. relevant DBS etc.) which will be funded by Southend Borough Council.

Value diversity in relation to ethnicity, religion, gender, disability and sexuality

Willingness to increase knowledge and understanding

Willingness to contribute to the annual review of own panel membership as well as other panel members and chair

To apply...


Penny Mercer