Merton calls for more foster carers

Following the announcement of a national foster carer shortage, Merton is stepping up its recruitment campaign for more foster carers to provide homes for over 160 Merton children in care.Fostering provides a family life for a child who is unable to live with their parents, with homes needed in particular for teenagers and sibling groups.

Merton Council offers new foster carers a full support package which include:

Full on-going training programme
Up to over £500 per child, per week
Additional allowances for special occasions such as £200 for annual holidays, £100 for Christmas and £100 for Birthdays per child.
Support of a dedicated supervising social worker
24 hour free helpline
A ‘buddy scheme’ shadowing a foster carer prior to fostering a child yourself.

Katy Neep, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Merton Council, said: “There are a number of misconceptions around fostering. People sometimes don’t consider themselves eligible when in fact they would be perfect as a foster carer able to provide a loving and caring home for a young person. At Merton we pride ourselves on being a great place for families, so we urge anyone considering fostering to join us and provide life-changing care for young people.”  

Anyone can foster a child provided they are aged 21 or over, have experience with children and young people, a spare bedroom and enough time, patience, resilience and understanding to take on the role.  You would also need to have access to practical help and emotional support from your family or community.

Applications are welcomed from people from all backgrounds, regardless of whether they have their own children and whatever their educational background, marital status or sexual orientation. Foster carers can own their own home or live in rented accommodation, work part-time or be in receipt of benefits and still be eligible to be paid as a foster carer. They can also be single or married, heterosexual or a member of the LGBT community.  It is possible to foster a child for as short as one night or as long as 18 years. Our experienced social workers hold preparation training courses throughout the year to help you decide which age child will fit in with your family circumstances.

For more information about fostering a child call: 0800 073 0874 or 020 8545 4070 or email  We hold regular fostering information events at Morden Baptist Church, where you can find out more about fostering with Merton, meet the team as well as experienced foster carers, who will answer any questions you may have. The next events will be held  on 14th February at 10.30am, 28th February at 6.30pm and 14th March at 10.30am.