One of the UK's leading fostering agencies, Banya, is appealing for more foster carers to come forward and provide a safe home for children unable to live with their birth families.
"The need for more foster carers is greater than ever," said Chido Poe, managing director of Banya, which is a professional fostering agency run as a social enterprise which was set up more than 20 years ago in London.
"Fostering can bring huge benefits to adults from all walks of life who wish to provide a safe and secure home for children who have often suffered neglect, abuse or other trauma. To be a mentor and inspiration in the life of a child or young person is a blessing in itself yet for the child it can mean the difference between a happy healthy future, beating the odds stacked against them and something quite different."
The amount of children coming into care has increased due to the Covid pandemic with more family breakdowns, therefore the need for more foster carers is urgent.
Foster carers are vital to the social care system in the UK when it comes to 'looked-after' children. It is known that having a loving and stable childhood significantly impacts a child's chances of leading a positive and fulfilled life. According to official figures in March 2019, more than 56,000 children were with foster families, which is 72 per cent of children in care.
As the need grows for more people to come forward, thousands of children are currently in children's homes where the level of care is variable and, in some cases, unsuitable and not secure for a child's needs. One of the benefits of a foster family is they get to offer the child a loving environment and they can feel a sense of belonging which can help them to go on and succeed and have healthy loving relationships.
In November this year, the Children's Commissioner called on the Government to take action to support children in care and also called on local authorities to make children’s social care a priority in their spending plans.
"We need more foster carers across the board," Chido said. "Here at Banya, we pride ourselves on supporting our foster carers through their fostering journey, whether they are new to fostering or more experienced. As a result, we are on average, ten times more successful when it comes to making successful placements as we support both the children who need excellent care and the adults providing that care."
Banya was set up in 1998 in South London and has served children and foster carers in London, Birmingham, Eastbourne, Hampshire, Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire since that time. Today the organisation supports 170 foster care families across England and has helped more than 7,000 children and young people.
"We are particularly looking for foster carers in London and Greater Manchester and we welcome adults from any backgrounds who have a passion for helping children. I appeal to you if you have ever considered being a foster carer the time is now, there are children and young people out there desperate to be part of a safe family environment."
Banya is known for its success generally in fostering and also for its particular expertise in providing for foster carers from diverse backgrounds.
It is a social enterprise so profits go to its charitable partner the Vanya Trust which funds an organic farm in the UK to give therapeutic experiences to children with learning disabilities or mental health difficulties.
Banya also provides funds to support poor children in Zimbabwe who attend St David’s School in Nyanboro. Anyone interested in becoming a foster carer should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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