Founder of UK fostering agency calls for more people to find out about the rewards of fostering during Foster Care Fortnight
Foster Care Fortnight™ is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness raising campaign, delivered by fostering charity, The Fostering Network. Foster Care Fortnight begins today running until 24th May. The annual campaign was established to raise the profile of fostering and to show how foster care transforms lives. Banya, an independent fostering provider supporting foster carer households in Greater London and beyond, is fully involved in the event & will be live every day on Facebook at 11:30am to discuss exciting topics and answer questions.
NYASHA Gwatidzo, Service Director at Banya is appealing for more families and individuals to find out more about the rewarding life as a foster carer. Nyasha said, “Coronavirus has had a severe impact on the waiting list of families ready to take a child or children in need.” Banya has lost 25% of its families available to foster, with many of the carers no longer suitable due to their age or underlying health conditions. This issue is affecting fostering throughout the UK. Banya is currently receiving the profiles of up to 50 children a day in need of a foster home and there are just not enough approved foster carers to keep up with demand.”
There is no fixed foster carer profile. Couples, single carers, mothers and daughters, mothers and sons, and same-sex couples are all part of the Banya foster care family. The commonality is an experience of working with people and an interest in community. The past professions of foster carers include, teachers, nurses, policeman, social workers, entrepreneurs, city workers, taxi drivers, caterers, prison wardens and pilots. They come from all kinds of backgrounds, are of all creeds and are of mixed ethnicity. Most foster children spend an average of 3.4 years with their foster families and their carers make a profound impact on their lives. If you are considering a life change and think you can offer a loving and stable family environment, I urge you to consider the rewarding life of a foster carer.
Nyasha added, “We believe that what makes Banya different is the continued support we offer foster families. Our work doesn’t end when we’ve placed a child. We are always on call to support our foster carers when they need us. Fostering does bring its challenges, but the rewards outweigh them. We’re proud that only 2.1% of Banya placements disrupt against a national average of 20%.”
The theme of this year’s Foster Care Fortnight is ‘This is Fostering’ sharing real life stories of foster children and their families. People are being encouraged to follow the hashtag #Thisisfostering on social media to find out more about life as a foster carer.
Nyasha said, “I setup Banya fostering agency after becoming a foster carer myself. I have first-hand experience of what it’s like, as well as being a child psychotherapist and supporting our families as they embark on their fostering journey. If I was to sum up fostering in five words I would choose, loving, rewarding, diverse, inspiring and transformational. This is fostering, a life changing and life affirming experience. Supporting children through difficult times is my passion, purpose and my life.”