Merton Council has seen an increase in the number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children coming into care and urgently needs more foster carers to look after them.

Children who come to the UK with no parents or carers are placed in the care of their nearest local authority.

There are many reasons why they might not feel safe in their home countries, such as civil war and persecution for their beliefs.

Merton’s Fostering Team ensures that its foster carers are supported every step of the way through their fostering journey from their initial enquiry to their first placement.

As a foster carer in Merton, you would receive ongoing training and have round the clock support 365 days per year, as well as specialist training to help look after the needs of unaccompanied children and can receive up for £514 per week, per child, as well as additional grants.

A council spokeswoman said people from all walks of life can foster.

"If you are aged over 18 years old, employed or unemployed or on benefits, rent or own your own home, married, or single; we are inclusive of all sexualities, religions and ethnicities," she said.

"You will need a spare room available to be able to apply to foster.

Time, patience, resilience and understanding are essential qualities for fostering a child, as well as a sense of humour. Fostering is about more than just parenting – you will be part of a team of people working with parents and social workers to care for children to improve their lives."

The London Borough of Merton was rated ‘Good with outstanding features in 2017.

Head of Merton fostering, Liz Broughton said they were "very proud that many of our foster carers stay with us for years."

“Fostering is a really rewarding task and we are keen to increase our pool of carers," she said.

"Come and meet a Merton foster carer at one of our fostering information events and see why they like fostering for Merton."

Merton fostering recruitment team hosts two information events per month at Morden Baptist Church.

Come along, meet the team and find out more about fostering.

The dates of the few events are September 19 at 6.30pm, October 4 at 10.30am and October 24 at 6.30pm.