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Adoption and fostering agency secures its long-term future following seven-figure finance from Unity Trust Bank

A pioneering adoption and fostering agency which uses arts and drama to help care-experienced traumatised youngsters has bought its first property thanks to a seven-figure loan from Unity Trust Bank.


London-based Family Futures, which transformed the way fostered, special guardianship and adopted children and their families are supported in the UK by using innovative neuro-physiological psychotherapy, has rented premises since it launched 24 years ago.


But having purchased new headquarters in Finsbury Park, the not-for-profit organisation is saving more than £14,000 a month in rent and rates and has an asset which will help secure its future.


Jay Vaughan MBE, CEO at Family Futures, said: “Getting a mortgage has made a huge difference to us.


“We talked to several banks but the moment we spoke to Matt Conroy from Unity we were absolutely clear which one we were going to go with.


“Matt got what we’re about and we trusted him. We would have been interested in Unity anyway because their values and ethos resonated with us, but it was Matt who made the difference.


“Building relationships is what we’re all about at Family Futures and we wanted a bank that appreciated what we did, saw our vision, and wasn’t just in it for the money – because that’s not what we’re in it for.


“Part of our long-term strategy is to support our survival. Owning our own building now ensures Family Futures is financially viable and we can continue to support care-experienced children, young people and their families.”


Employing 35 full time staff, Family Futures works with around 120 children/young people every year. It also assesses and approves adopters, recruits foster carers and provides external training and ongoing research.


Matt Conroy, Regional Director (South), at Unity Trust Bank, said: “As a socially-determined bank we’re proud to support a wonderful organisation like Family Futures. Jay and her team have helped hundreds of vulnerable children over the years and this finance will enable them to continue their valuable work.”


Jay, a former theatre director, retrained as a drama therapist in the late 1980s and set up Family Futures with social workers Christine Gordon and Alan Burnell OBE at a time when public confidence in post adoption support had reached crisis levels.


Jay explained: “Children were being removed from their birth families for neglect or abuse and placed with an adoptive family and the thinking was, that if you love them and give them a nice life, they will be fine. But it wasn’t working because nice holidays, clothes and food don’t make it all better.


“Children were often only entitled to six counselling sessions back then and the parents weren’t included in the process so it wasn’t effective and families were falling apart.


“It was our belief that care-experienced traumatised children needed long-term support and that therapy needed to have a family-based approach.


“We use creative arts, drama therapy and dance, so that children who can’t explain how they feel through words, can express how they feel through art.”

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Jay Vaughan MBE, CEO at Family Futures

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