Merton Council is appealing for more people to step forward and become foster carers for teenagers in the borough.
The council has around 100 teenagers at any one time needing care.
To become a foster carer you need to have experience of caring for young people, have a spare bedroom as well as patience and understanding. The council is there to support its foster carers throughout the process and once a carer is approved to care for a young person help is available at all times.
Cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Maxi Martin said: “It can be a challenge caring for children of any age but especially so in the case of teenagers. It can however be incredibly rewarding when a good relationship can be developed with the young person.
“Becoming a carer for a teenager also helps the young person stay in the borough where they can keep in touch with important people in their lives and can stay in the same school.”
Mani and Steve, a couple from Merton, currently care for two teenagers in the borough and explain why they chose to care for children saying: “We really wanted to care for teenagers as we thought our skills would be better suited to the 11+.”
“When they grow to trust you and understand that you will not judge them, that is the most rewarding part of the job. We tell them we will always be there for them no matter what.”
If you would like to know more about being a foster carer for a teenager please contact Merton Council’s fostering team on 0800 073 0874 or visit www.merton.gov.uk/fostering
A fostering information evening is being held at Wimbledon Library Saturday 15 March at 10am. For more info visit the fostering events page.