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Could you foster?

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It doesn't matter who you are, as long as you can demonstrate that you can provide stability and safety to a child, then we will consider your application.

Whatever your age, ethnicity, sexuality or personal circumstances, fostering could be for you.

You can foster if you are:

  • A home owner, a tenant or on housing benefit, so long as you are in stable accommodation
  • Single, married or cohabiting
  • Employed or unemployed, as long as you are flexible and have the time to devote to a child in your care
  • Gay or straight
  • From any ethnic background

To foster a Merton child you need to:

  • Live in Merton or a neighbouring borough
  • Have a spare bedroom
  • Have time, patience, tolerance and energy
  • Have people in your family or community who will be able to help you

Providing the family life a child needs

We are looking for carers who can provide a child with a loving and stable environment for them to grow and develop. You will need to help them feel comfortable in your home and their surroundings.
It's important to remember that we are not only looking for people who have had straightforward lives. We want to know how you have dealt with difficult experiences and what you have learned. Having survived and learned from difficulties or losses is likely to be helpful in fostering children and helping those who have had their own problems. So please do not let any of your past experiences put you off contacting us for a fuller discussion.

More than just parenting

Fostering is about more than just parenting. It is a team of people working with parents and social workers to care for children. Fostering is not something than can be done in isolation. It affects your family and close friends. If you have children of your own, think carefully about how they will cope with sharing you, their home and their possessions. If you have a partner, fostering must, of course, be something you both want to do.

If you have a full-time job you need to think carefully about how you would manage the needs of any child placed with you, and you may prefer to choose to be a short break/ respite carer. You must have at least one full time spare bedroom in your home. You must be prepared to work as a professional who works as part of a team, sharing your home and life with social care professionals, with looked after children, school representatives and with birth families to secure the best outcome for children. And there's no doubt that a sense of humour goes a long way!

Unsure whether to foster or adopt?

You know you want to care for a child but if you are unsure whether to foster or adopt we have a new Fostering to Adopt scheme. More details can be found here: Fostering to Adopt

You can find out more about fostering elsewhere on this site:

Case studies

The fostering process