Merton has shortage of foster carers
In the run-up to Foster Care Fortnight (16-29 May), Merton Council is calling on residents to consider fostering as a possible career.
Merton now has a shortage of foster carers to accommodate the number of children currently in the borough's care homes.
The council says it offers foster carers ongoing training and support as well as an allowance for each child they care for.
Offering a child a stable home environment while they wait for a permanent adoptive family not only benefits the child, but also provides an income to the foster carer.
Foster carers need to have patience and a genuine care for children. The practical requirements include a spare room and some experience of living or working with children.
Merton Council cabinet member for children’s services Councillor Maxi Martin said: "Fostering is a challenging but rewarding way to earn a living, while providing a huge benefit to vulnerable children who cannot live with their own families. Fostering children means they can benefit from a stable and loving home environment which can give them a step up in life and a better start."
Esther, one of Merton's carers, said: "When I transferred from being a nurse to being a foster carer I was worried about losing all my skills. But I'm continuing to use my skills – just in a different setting. It doesn’t make them any less important and I haven’t looked back.
"I love the fact that now I can be at home all day and still be working and learning and developing my skills. My caring side is allowing me to work at home and pay my bills. If you want job satisfaction and to spend time with your family, fostering is just perfect."
For more information on Merton’s fostering team visit www.merton.gov.uk/fostering or call 0208-545-4277.
May 6, 2011