SMEToday had the opportunity to talk to Natash Blake, one of Banya Fostering Carers, during the recent Foster Care Fortnight.
Who lives in your house?
“My mother who’s also a Foster Carer, Javanna – my daughter and back-up carer, and our three foster daughters.”
Where in the UK do you live?
“West Norwood which is in South London.”
How old are the children you are fostering?
“We have one 14-year-old and two 15-year olds.”
How long have the children lived with you? T
“The sibling group have been with us for 9 years, and a new placement one month.”
How long have you been a foster carer?
How many children have you cared for in the past?
“We’ve had 21 long- and short-term placements”
What did you do before becoming a foster carer?
“I worked in the health and leisure management sector.”
What is the most enjoyable/ rewarding part of being a foster carer?
“The most rewarding part about fostering is feeling elated about successes and wins that the young people have in all areas of their life. For example, building positive relationships with their families.”
Tell us about your typical day
“My typical day used to consist of making sure the young people had what they needed for school and leave home in good time. However, since the pandemic our lives have changed drastically and the house has now become school, cinema, restaurant etc. and our days are crammed with work and fun things to do on a daily basis.”
What is the hardest part of being a foster carer?
“At the moment, it’s keeping the young people’s minds in a healthy place during this difficult time.”
What is you most memorable foster carer moment?
“There are quite a few, but typically it would have to be when we had a sibling group in placement who refused point blank to speak to their mother. After months of having them listen when I spoke with their mum, one of them corrected her so she heard the voice of one of them for the first time in three months. It was very moving and memorable.”
What is the biggest thing you’ve learnt from being a foster carer?
“That I can love anyone who needs it.”
How do you relax after a day of caring?
“Talk to friends or play my favourite music.”
Do you have a support network to call on if you need it?
“Yes. Our network is built in and if we need external support, we have my aunt and other carers who we have great relationships with.”
What are you looking forward to as a family post lockdown?
“Our girls’ passports are on the way, so it would be awesome if we could take them away once it’s safe to do so.”
What would you say to anyone considering becoming a foster carer?
“It takes a kindred spirit to do this type of work, so if you feel that you have what is required then do not hesitate, as the young people need a loving environment to help them blossom.”
How would you describe your Banya experience?
“Banya has taken me, my family and our young people on a wonderful journey, we have grown with them and through them and have been fortunate to meet supportive and most importantly understanding people and professionals along the way.”
Find out more about Fostering – GoTo www.banya.co.uk or contact them directly: