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Payments and support

  • Payments and allowances


We will pay you up to a maximum of £507.15 per week per child to cover the day-to-day expenses of caring for a child. This is dependant on your skills and experience as a foster carer and the age of child. We will provide you with detailed information about financial allowances when we visit you in your home.

We will also pay you a 'start up' grant of up to £500 on approval of becoming a foster carer to cover the cost of preparing your home for a foster child. As well as grants towards birthdays, christmas and holidays.

However, fostering isn't all about the money - you can get so much out of the experience by being part of a child's journey towards a happier future.


Prior to approval as a foster carer, we offer a preparation training course, which is normally run over two Saturdays and three evenings at a local venue.

The topics covered in the preparation training course include:

  • The role of the foster carer
  • Why children are fostered
  • The nature and impact of child abuse
  • Identity and loss
  • Working with birth family
  • Understanding and managing behaviour
  • Helping children to move on from foster homes

At Merton, the training of foster carers has a high priority and we believe in comprehensive and continuous training programmes to keep our foster carers and staff up to date with the latest developments and therapeutic techniques, to ensure that our carers are able to deal with the unexpected and any challenging situations.

This course provides an introduction to what being a foster carer entails and provides an insight into the rewards and challenges of fostering. The course will help you to decide whether fostering is right for you and your family, and whether you have the potential to be an effective foster carer.

Once you are approved as a foster carer, there is a good quality training programme that you will be expected to take part in. If you are a couple, both of you should access appropriate training- you will be able to discuss this with your social worker.


We believe that good support for foster carers achieves better outcomes for both children and carers.

This will include:

  • 24 hour support
  • Dedicated specialist social workers who have years of experience in fostering
  • Frequent telephone contact from your own social worker
  • Regular structured supervision and consultation at least once a month with your SSW
  • Support from your SSW at Personal Education Plan (PEPs) meetings and other professional meetings

At Merton we are committed to offering the highest possible level of quality support to all our foster carers.

We recognise that because of the nature of the role, foster carers will face demanding and challenging situations. Our aim is that with training and through high levels of support and good communication we can equip you with the skills to deal with the majority of situations safe in the knowledge that support is readily accessible if you need it.