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Leading the way with Five Rivers Ireland

A FINGLAS based fostering service that’s found homes for more than 100 young people over the last 12 months is looking for more local families and individuals to provide some loving care to children.

Five Rivers Ireland works in partnership with Tusla Foster Care Service and also provides emergency placements for children and young people who come into care out of hours.
Director Deirdre McDonagh says Five Rivers takes a holistic view to each individual in their care to achieve the best outcomes for children and young people.

“We have supported children and young people in our care to achieve their full potential, with a number of young adults now engaged in training or third level education,” she said.
“We have expanded our training and therapeutic services for foster families and the children and young people they care for.”

Since the financial crisis hit, resources available to the Child and Family Agency to safeguard children and to provide for children in care have been reduced significantly.
This has meant that areas are more reluctant to use private agencies, but Five Rivers Ireland has always been committed to providing high quality services that are cost effective and represent good value for money.

“We have sought to achieve savings in areas which do not impact on the quality of service delivery to foster families,” Deirdre explains.
“In doing this we have been able to reduce the cost of using our service significantly to Tusla.

“We believe in investing in young people from the outset, as the return will be felt for many years to come.”

Last year Five Rivers was a Public Sector Magazine Award winner for services to the public sector. This year the service purchased a property in Kilkenny with a view to expanding support and training services as well as developing a hub for foster carers in the south east region.

The house in Kilkenny will also be an ideal venue to support children in care to maintain contact with their birth families. “Our aim is to be able to provide a complete wraparound service to meet the growing and complex needs of children and young people coming into care” says Deirdre.

Five Rivers Ireland operates within all current legislation and national standards and has a commitment to the support and development of staff and families through quality supervision and training. All staff members are provided with regular supervision and there is significant access to internal and external training.

That enables the staff to update their skills and remain well informed and capable of doing their job. Five Rivers now employs 30 staff to care for children in foster care. Service director, Brian Dignam, one, who grew up in Finglas West, is proud to bring such a high level of employment back to his home town. Five Rivers is currently looking for foster carers across North Dublin to provide care and stability for children coming from all kinds of backgrounds.

“We are continually looking for a wide range of foster carers to meet the many different needs that children and young people have,” Brian says.
“In Five Rivers Fostering we believe that it is very important to take time and effort to match children with families that can meet their individual needs.

“Likewise we endeavour to ensure that foster families are matched with a child or a young person who would fit into their family and whose needs they would be able to meet.
“We recruit individuals who have a variety of life experiences and a wide range of knowledge and skills.n People who foster are from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds.”

Five Rivers Fostering’s philosophy is that anyone from the age of 21 years and upwards, regardless of their status, can foster successfully.

If you would like to find out more, visit our sister site or call 01-8665290 or 01-8665291.
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