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Fostering Panel Advisor
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Agency Fostering Panel Advisor 
Salary - £40,869 - £43,860 per annum | Based in Kingston | Fixed term - 1 year Maternity cover |36 Hours

There’s never been a better time to join Achieving for Children (AfC), AfC fostering is a unique social enterprise of 3 owning Local Authorities; London Borough of Richmond, Royal Borough of Kingston and Royal Borough of Windsor Maidenhead, we are a registered Independent Fostering Agency with Ofsted and have two team locations; Kingston and Maidenhead. 

Achieving for Children are ever expanding especially through the fostering service, we offer a great training program for staff and carers. We are looking for enthusiastic, detail orientated people who can join our workforce and continue to support our growth and improvement.

About the role
The postholder will act as the agency panel adviser and support the Agency Decision Making process while quality assuring reports presented to the fostering panel.  As Panel Advisor for Achieving for Children, you will be responsible for
  • You will provide communication and liaison between the panels, the branch managers, and the service and brief the agency decision makers on panel matters in both IFA branches. You will provide consistent support and challenge across both areas to ensure that prospective and existing carers receive a high standard of service and support, while upholding national minimum standards and fostering regulations of foster carers and fostering services. 
  • You will develop robust quality assurance mechanisms, which are independent of the team management structure.  Ensuring the panel documents, meetings, minutes and agency decision maker decisions are compliant with fostering regulations,  collaborates and works alongside the panel administrators to ensure the functionality of the panel.
  • The role will deliver innovative improvement plans for the panel service, provide relevant training to services within  AfC to ensure professional understanding of processes and requirements. 
  • The role is responsible for the safer recruitment of all panel members, ensuring that these documents, checks, and appraisals are up to date and collated together, as well as ensuring required or relevant training is offered to the panel members. 
About AfC
The fostering service has recently become an Independent Fostering Agency (IFA) split into two branches but with a number of centralised functions. Operational Area 1 is based in Kingston and Operational Area 2 is based in Maidenhead. The main office base for this role will be at the Guildhall, Kingston. This role will be responsible to the Head of Fostering Service. The IFA is expanding as a service, growing in fostering households, services and functionality. As we are an IFA with two branches we are Ofsted inspected separately within the branches, we also engage in the iLAC’s for the 3 owning councils; London Borough Richmond, Royal Borough of Kingston and Royal Borough of Windsor Maidenhead.

About you
To be Fostering Panel Advisor  for AfC, you will be passionate about making a positive difference to the lives of children and young people through the offer of foster placements as well as demonstrating the following points
  • Educated to degree level with appropriate professional Social Work qualification.
  • Active Social Work England registration and proven evidence of CPD.
Skills and experience
  • Previous experience of acting as a fostering panel advisor and experience of acting either as a senior practitioner or team leader in a fostering setting.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and understanding of Children Act 1989 and 2004; including awareness of current national policy, evidence based research and best practice that affects children’s social care.
  • Experience of keeping and maintaining records and producing  accurate reports, presentations, written updates to a range of stakeholders. 
  • Strong analytical, and planning skills for assessing, and reviewing both foster carers and children and young people’s needs, as well as investigating standards of care concerns.
  • Demonstrated ability to explain professional reasoning, judgements, and decision making in a constructive and supportive manner through various communication methods.
  • Experience of applying critical reflection and analysis to increasingly complex cases, and demonstrable knowledge and application of a range of interventions .
About our benefits
When you join AfC you will have access to:
  • Positive and supportive working environments - We have a highly supportive working environment in which managers are challenging and supporting in equal measures. 
  • Positive work-life balance - Access to employee benefits and support forms part of our health and wellbeing offer.
  • A competitive salary and access to LA pension scheme - Our salaries are benchmarked against other local authorities.
  • A range of staff benefits and discounts managed via your own app - Staff can enjoy a wide range of discounts on sports and leisure activities and everyday shopping through AfC My Place.
  • Professional reflective supervision - Regular, high-quality reflective supervision which helps to build confidence is available to all. 
  • Strong Management - A strong performance management culture, with an equally strong focus on practice learning is embedded across the organisation. 
  • A fantastic learning and development offer - A clearly set out and accessible learning and development pathway, offering an extensive range of training and learning opportunities is accessible for all. This includes funding for post qualifying courses.
To find out about all of the breadth of benefits of working for Achieving for Children click here.

Start dates
Achieving for Children have fixed start dates, candidates are advised to prepare for this should a job offer be accepted to ensure eligible continuous service is not affected.

How To apply
If you would like more information about this role please see our role profile.

Please apply online including a supporting statement addressing how you meet the criteria for this post detailing what skills, knowledge, experience and abilities you can bring to the role, as outlined in the role profile.

If you would like to find out more about this exciting opportunity, please contact Natalie Bugeja, Head of Fostering, on  to request an informal discussion.    

Closing Date: 13th June 2021
Interview Date: Week commencing 14th June 2021

Achieving for Children is an equal opportunities employer, this extends to welcoming candidates from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. 

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. We expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. 

We reserve the right to close this vacancy once a sufficient number of applications has been received. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you complete and return your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
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