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COVID-19: Foster Carer recruitment

It’s safe to say that Covid-19 has pretty much affected every aspect of our lives this year, from how we shop and how we socialise to how we work and how we connect with family and friends. Like everyone else we’ve had to adapt how we operate here at Five Rivers both in terms of recruiting new foster carers and supporting our existing network of foster carers. And, as guidance, Lockdowns, Tiers and general Covid-19 related advice changes so frequently, we’re regularly shifting how we support our staff, our foster carers and the vulnerable children and young people we look after.

But Covid-19 hasn’t stopped the increasing number of children entering the care system, nor has it stopped our ongoing efforts to recruit excellent foster carers to stem the current shortfall. We’ve just had to tweak the process slightly. Upon application prospective foster carers are assigned a Five Rivers social worker who becomes their go-to resource for support and guidance throughout the process with house visits and face-to-face interviews regularly conducted. Further on in the process all prospective foster carers are invited to attend a Fostering Approval Panel with sector representatives where the application is reviewed and the social worker and foster carer are both interviewed.

To ensure the safety of our social workers and any prospective foster carers, we’ve adapted this process to be Covid-19 secure. This means we’ve moved all contact with social workers, foster carers and our Panel online. When rules eased in July some home visits resumed but as local rules continue to change this is something we are constantly monitoring. As and when Lockdowns are announced home visits, interviews and Panel hearings will revert to being online. Our most up-to-date advice and guidelines can be found here.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer with Five Rivers check out our blog post which outlines the whole recruitment process. We know these are extraordinary times but we also know that there are extraordinary foster carers to be found and we can’t wait to hear from you.

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