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Each fostering service provider in England, Scotland and Wales is required to convene a fostering panel. In Northern Ireland this is not a requirement but usually happens in practice. Fostering panels play a vital role in ensuring that foster carers who are approved to look after children in foster care have the necessary skills and knowledge to do this to a high standard. This includes quality assuring assessment and review reports of the applicants to foster, considering their fitness, skills, experience and their capacity to develop. This approval is then reviewed by the panel at different stages through the course of the carer’s career.