Complete an enquiry form

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
  • any sexual preference
  • from any ethnic background
  • practising or not practising any faith

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
  • be a British citizen, or have leave to remain in the UK

Video transcript

Hello I'm Arif. I'm a foster carer for Merton. We've been fostering for 29 years.

Hi I'm Lynne, and our approval is for two children and one respite, and our personal preference is teenagers.

Well, over the many years we've done many different kinds of fostering.

We've fostered short-term, long-term, respite, babies, mother and babies, toddlers - we do teenagers at the moment.

Special needs. Special needs, respite. Respite, yeah. Merton has been very good to us in all the support we've wanted.

Merton also offer a fabulous training programme to help all foster carers as well.

We've continued fostering because of the enjoyment that we've had through our lives, fostering children.

Watching them develop, watching them achieve things - which is something we've always enjoyed doing with all children, our own children as well, to see them grow up and achieve goals that they set for themselves, and we like to see all children do the same.

We've always supported the children to achieve to the best of their ability, and to aspire to higher things.

Yeah and that's very rewarding for us to see them achieve those.

You know there's many children that we've fostered, as I said 80 or 100 children, and so many have gone on to do so many good things.

Some have even got into fostering themselves, or trained to be foster carers and social workers.

So that's the rewards, you know, to see them achieve in life. And they also come back to us don't they.

Yes many times. They still call us, they phone us often, to ask our advice, and we were always there for them.

The door’s never closed. Never closed.

Well, if you're interested in fostering please come along to one of our information events, or contact us.

Give us a call. Get that ball rolling.

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!

Find out more about fostering

The fostering process

Take the next step

Complete an enquiry form

Freephone: 0800 073 0874
Telephone: 020 8545 4070
Email: fostering@merton.gov.uk