Independent foster agency Banya Family Placement Agency is starting 2023 with a nationwide recruitment drive for foster carers throughout the country but particularly in major cities including London, Birmingham and Manchester.
Since Banya was founded in 1997 the agency has supported 7,000 children and over 400 carers. Banya is uniquely placed to help and assist unaccompanied minors from war torn regions of the world, children with additional needs and troubled teenagers. Banya has also developed specialisms in placing mother, baby and sibling groups.
Marketing manager Arfan Aslam says: “We provide a high standard of foster care for a range of children and young people. There is a shortfall of foster carers across the country, not just for Banya, but also for local authorities. We’re faced with a situation where more foster carers are leaving than are being recruited. Demand is constantly growing, and the entire sector is facing a challenge in recruiting carers.”
Banya supports foster carer households all over the UK, but are currently focusing their efforts in Birmingham and surrounding areas:
“Banya is presently focusing on recruiting carers in the West Midlands, where we have the staffing and families to advise and support new foster carers.”
Banya foster carers look after children and young people placed by local authorities. Only 2.1% of Banya placements break down compared to a national average of 20%.
Banya carefully selects and trains carers while working with local authorities to match placement of children and young adults from diverse and ethnic backgrounds.
Arfan continues: “We are receiving more parent and child and unaccompanied minor referrals from local authorities, we would like more foster carers to come forward and support parent and child as there is an acute shortage, and an urgent need to help support this vulnerable group”
Foster carers John and Luza Ellis live in Hull and have been fostering for the last five years. They were given comprehensive training by Banya about autism and they now care for two boys with it.
They say: “We’ve seen so much progress in both of the children, it’s just wonderful, and being able to exchange expertise with other foster carers is incredibly useful. The group is a brilliant resource and it’s also great to chat to other people who are also foster carers.”
Arfan said: “Fostering is no doubt challenging, however it is rewarding both emotionally and financially. We believe the pandemic has changed people’s outlook with a view of helping others and making a positive change to the community.”
To find out more about Banya and become a foster carer please visit: https://www.banya.co.uk