What is fostering?
Fostering is a way of providing a family life to a child unable to live at home. As a Merton foster carer, you will be part of a team of professionals helping to provide a child with a safe and nurturing environment.
Why Foster for Merton?
- Merton foster carers are kept busy with placements most of the time and our carers stay with us for many years
- We pride ourselves on the high level of support we offer our foster carers as well as comprehensive on-going training
- We are able to offer Merton foster carers generous allowances as well as a start up grant to help with furniture and equipment
- Merton foster carers get free membership to the Fostering Network gaining access to training, publications, mediation and advice on many aspects of fostering, including 24 hour legal advice line
- As a Merton foster carer you will be able to benefit from a range of offers and discounts on family themed activities in and around Merton. Merton fostering is very social and you will be invited to many events for you, your family and your foster children.
Find out more: Why Merton Fostering?
1. Initial phone call
Our initial discussion with you will take place with one of our experienced team members on the telephone. We will assess whether you meet our basic criteria, such as having sufficient space and time. It is our chance to begin to get to know you and your chance to ask questions.
2. Initial home visit
We will arrange for an initial visit to your home so we can get to know you a bit better and assess your living space to see if you have room to foster a child. We will talk to you about your experience, skills and your reasons for wanting to become a foster carer.
3. Application and checks
Once we receive your application form we will take up some checks and references. You will be asked to have a medical examination completed by your GP and we will need 4-6 references, which may include family and employer. We will also arrange for a Police check (DBS).
4. Preparation training
You will need to attend a training course to help prepare you for fostering. You will learn more about the responsibilities and rewards of fostering from our specialist trainers and existing foster carers. This is a ‘2-way’ training course where you will get to know us better and vice versa.
5. Assessment and home visits
A specialist fostering social worker will visit you and your family regularly over a period of three months in order to complete your assessment report and make sure you are prepared to become a foster carer. With your help, the social worker will write a report detailing your relevant experience and skills.
Your assessment report will be sent to the Fostering Panel and you will be asked to attend a meeting with the Panel along with your dedicated social worker. The Fostering Panel is an independent group of people who will recommend whether to approve you as a foster carer.
7. On-going support
At Merton we are committed to offering the highest possible level of support to all our foster carers, including 24 hr/365 day support from specialist social workers and frequent structured supervision from your own social worker. You will also have regular training, peer support groups and an experienced buddy to help you through the early stages of fostering.
or give us a call on freephone 0800 073 0874
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