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London and East Fostering Team re-accredited by Investing in Children!

Five Rivers London and East Fostering Team have been successfully re-accredited with the Investing in Children Award. The team, who were first accredited with this in 2017, have consistently demonstrated how we engage our children and young people in dialogue which leads to change. 

Investing in Children (IiC) is a UK initiative that promotes the human rights of children and young people and recognises and celebrates examples of imaginative and inclusive practice with children and young people.  The scheme has over 500 members across the UK and Ireland. 

 The award seeks evidence from children and young people to empower them, and avoid tokenism, highlighting our ongoing commitment to our children and young people. It is given to organisations who can demonstrate they: 

Five Rivers London and East team were re-accredited by Robert Johnson, who met with five children and young people from the region. He highlighted the following activities as ways in which Children and young people were engaged in dialogue: 

  • County Lines and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness. 
  • Five Rivers Activities. 
  • Individual Support. 

County Lines and Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness 

I think I have been listened to as I thought it would be good to do something on County Lines and was listened to about my idea to do something, they then set it up. I think I have been listened to as I thought it would be good to do something on County Lines and was listened to about my idea to do something, they then set it up”. – Feedback given to the inspector. 

Following feedback from the children and young people about what support they needed, the children and young people asked for an awareness session to be set up around County Lines and CSE Awareness. Children and young people created posters about CSE, which are now displayed around the office. 


Five Rivers Activities 

“The young people felt valued and respected as they believed they could jointly participate in decisions regarding activities, trips and changes occurred according to what they want.” 

The young people shared with the inspector that they enjoyed participating in a range of activities that they asked for, with the aim of promoting family time.  Activities included family fun days, trips to Chester Zoo, writing blogs, attending events, and creating podcasts. As a result of their discussions with the adults in the Fostering Team, children and young people have been supported to: 

  • Launch a self-love group. – “I thought it was important that girls could come together and talk about things as there is so much going on like body image and how to look and that it is ok to be just you. We came up with the idea for a Self-Love group as it’s ok to love yourself and it’s been really good to do it with other girls”. 
  • Get involved in foster carer training and development. – “I got the chance to talk to new carers and could explain about what I thought were important things, like how to talk to young people if they are upset”. 
  • Raise awareness of Mental Health. – “It’s important to talk about mental health to make sure kids and adults talk about it more, so they are now planning to do it more”. 

Individual Support 

All of the young people were keen to share with the inspector their experiences of the individual support they receive. Feedback included: 

“Since I have been with Five Rivers they have made me feel more open as I feel I can express my feelings”. 

“They come around and check up on us to make sure we are alright”. 

“I really like it when we meet other people, like Ric Flo, and get the chance to hear what they have to say and have been through”. 

Many congratulations to the London and East Fostering Team! 

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