Working in our specialist fostering service

Over the last 30 years, we have helped thousands of looked-after children. Our service is committed to providing high quality, stable, foster families for the children and young people.Our teams play a crucial role in recruiting, training and supporting foster carers across England. Due to our experience and reputation, the number of foster carers we are supporting is growing year on year.

Our standing is reinforced by being a ‘social enterprise’; we are driven by social objectives and the surplus we make is reinvested into the services we provide.

We have a variety of roles in our fostering service including, but not limited to, administrators, social workers, support workers and fostering service managers. The team works together to recruit foster carers, support their application process, place children and young people in appropriate homes and support foster carers with looking after children and young people.

We are committed to our teams having strong relationships with our foster carers, so we have invested in a number of local offices across the country. Most of our staff work across a region, from an assigned office.

Our highly trained foster carers provide stable, caring homes for the children who need them most. The support of our fostering service is crucial in making this possible.

You will benefit from working with a well-established, child-centered organisation that is committed to turning children’s lives around. With nearly 30 years’ experience, we are well equipped to be able to support and develop you in your role.We know how demanding and challenging our work can be. We value our people and want to recognise and reward you for the work you to. Some of your rewards and benefits include:

On-going training and learning: we have a dedicated learning and development team who are committed to sourcing and delivering up to date, quality training opportunities. We continually look at new learning initiatives to make sure we’re providing the best continuing professional development we can. We also prioritise and discuss your personal training goals to ensure you’re getting the most out of your career.

Simply Health Cashback Scheme: you will automatically be enrolled into the Simply Health Cash Plan scheme which means you can claim back the cost of your everyday healthcare appointments. The membership also allows you free, immediate access to a 24/7 GP telephone helpline.

Employee discount scheme: we value you, so we offer you access to a free online platform called Perkbox. The employee discount scheme gives you exclusive access to discounts and freebies.

Employee assistance programme: we know how demanding our lives can be and that life isn’t always plain sailing, so we take great care in supporting and caring for you. You will automatically have access to free, confidential, 24/7 counselling.

Long service and recognition scheme: We appreciate the invaluable contribution our employees make, so we recognise and reward loyal service. Our recognition scheme provides additional holiday entitlement for length of service and financial recognition for ten years and above.

A competitive salary in line with your skills and experience:

Annual leave allowance: we appreciate how important it is to have a break. We offer a generous annual leave allowance which increases with your length of service.

Refer a friend financial incentive scheme: we know how important having the right workforce is and we’re confident your network includes professionals who could bring expertise and experience to our work. We offer financial rewards for successful appointments to our staff from your network.

Our values are more than a set of adjectives. We are invested in nurturing an environment where we have a shared understanding of how we would all like to be treated.

We have a shared vision for how we can achieve our mission to turn children’s lives around. Our teams are forward thinking and ambitious; we are all striving for excellence. Committed to providing high-quality, stable foster homes, we work with integrity and show a strong commitment to improving the outcomes for looked-after children. We take an adaptable approach to our work and we’re respectful of one another.

Johan, Operations Manager, Fostering

Johan is a Fostering Operations Manager. He is home-based but spends much of my time visiting offices in his area of responsibility – which is the whole of the West of England.

How long have you worked at Five Rivers?

I joined Five Rivers in July 2014.

Have you always worked in residential/fostering care?

No, not always in fostering but in social work for the length of my career (26 years) and for the majority of that time I have been working in fostering. I have previously managed and set up a joint therapeutic service with a CAMHS service in a Local Authority to prevent family breakdown and young people entering the care system. Before that, I worked in an alcohol and drug rehabilitation outpatient clinic and as a social worker in the prison service.

What’s the best thing at Five Rivers Fostering?

Being a Social Enterprise – I am very proud to work for an organisation that re-invests to develop services with the aim to benefit and reach out to many more young people. I find it difficult to single out what could be seen as the “best thing” for me personally, but I really value being part of a super team of staff in various roles all working towards the same goal.

What do you do to relax?

I enjoy gardening although would not describe myself as green-fingered!  My favourite activity must be going away for weekends in my motorhome.

Tell us something interesting that you have done or experienced?

I always attend as many of our events for young people as I can. I value the opportunity to meet up with young people and foster carers.

Did this experience teach you anything that helps you in your job with young people?          

Attending these events is always a positive and somewhat humbling experience as it reconfirms that my career choice is absolutely spot on for me.  It also reminds me of the reasons why I wake up and start every day with a feeling of newness and potential because every day is different, and a new opportunity to change lives for the better for everybody involved.

What are your career aspirations and how could Five Rivers help you reach them?

I am career-driven and have seen every step of my career as an opportunity to support, learn and influence. I have been fortunate to have different opportunities during my short time with Five Rivers and I aspire to work as part of the senior management team. Five Rivers offers me training and opportunities to be exposed to new experiences – all of which will prepare me for the next step within the organisation.

A member of our fostering service describes being part of our team:

“I feel very lucky to be a part of Five Rivers. I first joined the team in an administration role, and have since progressed into a Fostering Support Worker role with backing and support from my wonderful colleagues and management who are encouraging me to reach my overall goal of becoming a Social Worker. Self-motivation is one thing, but having a team who believes in you and pushes you to achieve is so encouraging! Day to day, our line of work can, of course, be very challenging, but all of us here strive for the best possible outcomes for our children and young people and that’s what makes every day count and feel so rewarding. Job satisfaction is key, and I wouldn’t be where I am without Five Rivers!”

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