If you are a prospective or an existing foster carer who has recently received a qualifying determination (see definition below) you have three options:
you may accept the proposal
you can make written representations to your fostering service provider within 28 calendar days of the date of the provider’s letter, in which case the provider is required to refer the case back to their fostering panel for a review of that proposal or
you can apply in writing to the IRM Cymru within 28 calendar days of the provider’s letter for a review of the fostering service provider’s qualifying determination
However, you can not do both 2 and 3.
What the IRM Cymru can do for you
The IRM Cymru is a review process conducted by a Review Panel which is independent of fostering service providers.
If you choose to use the IRM Cymru the review panel will, where appropriate:
review your suitability as a prospective foster carer(s)
review any proposed changes to your terms of approval
make a fresh recommendation to your agency on your suitability to foster a child and the terms of your approval, including approval for a specific child
Things the IRM Cymru doesn’t do
It does not make a final decision about your case. This is made by your fostering service provider having considered the recommendation from the IRM panel.
It does not consider the suitability of the care plan for a child.
It does not handle complaints against the fostering service provider.
How the Review Panel works
The Review Panel considers the following information to make its recommendation:
all information presented to the original fostering panel;
the provider’s reasons for their qualifying determination
your reasons for requesting a review
any additional information submitted by you
If the Review Panel needs further information, this will be requested from your fostering service provider before the panel meeting.
You will be invited to attend the meeting. The review panel will have questions for you and the fostering service provider. The panel will also obtain legal and medical advice if required.
Results and outcomes
The Review Panel makes its recommendation and will provide a copy of the panel minutes to you and the fostering service provider.
The foster service provider must take this recommendation into account as well as the recommendation of the original fostering panel when making its final decision on your suitability to foster a child.
A “qualifying determination” is a determination made by the fostering service provider that they:
Propose not to approve you as suitable to foster;
Are no longer satisfied that you continue to be suitable to foster; or
Propose to change the terms of your existing approval