Good news for Merton’s looked after children

Merton is stepping up a gear in its recruitment drive for adoptive families and foster carers, following the recent appointment of a dedicated Fostering and Adoption Publicity and Information officer, Candice Harper.

Candice has been brought in to raise awareness locally about the urgent need for new families to help provide stable upbringings to some of the borough’s most vulnerable children. She comes from a commercial background and brings with her invaluable marketing and advertising expertise.

The appointment follows government-backed initiatives to assist all local authorities in their efforts to recruit a wide range of carers. Studies showed that there was a severe shortage of adoptive and fostering families and too many children in care. A target was set by government to increase the number of adoptions in the UK by 40% by 2005. The new appointment reflects Merton’s commitment to helping achieve this.

Helen Lincoln, Head of Children’s services at Merton, said:

“Children need the stability of being raised in a family environment, and being looked after by Social Services should only ever be a short-term solution.

“The fact that there is now a dedicated person responsible for driving forward the recruitment of foster carers and adoptive families, means that Merton should go some way to tackling the damaging shortage. Ultimately, this means that more of the most vulnerable children will have the opportunity to live as part of a family.”