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Parent & Child Assessments

At Five Rivers we provide an unrivalled support package to Foster Carers who are undertaking the task of providing Parent and Child Placements. We are able to provide fostering accommodation for parent / parents and their child where parenting skills can be developed and assessed.

The Fostering environment provides a non-institutionalised atmosphere that is consistent with everyday life and which promotes a feeling of safety and well-being. Five Rivers and our Foster Carers are able to be flexible in meeting the requirements of the referring authority in relation to any assessment programmes being requested.

Clearly the well-being and welfare of each parent and their child / children is paramount the foster home provides a safe platform where health emotional educational needs are met. The objective for the Foster Carer is for them to pass on their knowledge and skills that will empower parents to understand their children’s development and respond to their changing needs.

These parent and child assessments can be provided to parents of any age, gender and need. Where the referring authorities have concern for the parents ability to carry out their parenting safely and effectively and for whom a residential parenting assessment maybe necessary. Both our Foster Carers and the Five Rivers Supervising Social Workers are able to offer practical advice and support on all aspects of parenting and child development.

The relationship between parent and child and the observations made by Foster Carers and other professionals, plays a key role in determining the quality of the relationship, and each child’s developmental needs. This is also very important when working closely with Social Workers, Solicitors, Children’s Doctors, Mental Health and other Professionals, who share an interest to ensure the best package of care and assessment can be provided.

Foster Carer Support Services

It is the belief of Five Rivers that for the very challenging children / young people we work with, we must provide a flexible yet consistent support service to our Foster Carers and their own families as a group and individually. It has to include consideration for the life cycle of their family.

Five Rivers does not accept the ‘conventional wisdom’ that as time goes on there is less need for support – we now feel that to reduce support can rapidly de-stabilise the foster placement. The infrastructure of support is essential to the success of the placement and is therefore available throughout the U.K.

The support provided to the Foster Carers covers a wide range of services, including the following:-

  • Ongoing financial support commensurate with the task.
  • A flexible support package which enables Foster Carers to have a respite service, an emergency stop over and / or time out for their family.
  • Access to a range of experts on a consultancy basis where required including Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Educational Psychologists, Play Therapists.
  • Ongoing liaison with the Foster Carers which is viewed as essential support not only because of the need to have information and discussions, but also because it recognises that different issues are relevant at different stages of development in the child / young person’s care and the family adjustment of the child / young person.
  • Five Rivers provides membership of the Fostering Network and IFCA (Ireland) for all its families so as to link them nationally with other Foster Carers and provide them with an independent link to legal advice should they request it.
  • Five Rivers also provides additional insurance cover for accidental and malicious damage and theft, and accident cover for all the children / young people who are fostered.

We believe that these services help families feel cared for and supported through some of their difficult times. Alongside the individual support packages mentioned is also committed to provide Support Groups as necessary to Foster Carers.

These support groups can include.

  • General Support Group open to all
  • Women’s Support Group
  • Men’s Support Group
  • Children who Foster Group
  • Children who are Fostered Group
  • Therapeutic Groups.

Five Rivers actively encourages its Foster Carers to attend support groups, recognising them to be of great value.

Foster Carer Training Services

Five Rivers works from a humanistic perspective; that is by trying to understand and value the relationships between people that help to influence behaviour and change.

Our professional staff and Foster Carers use techniques from a number of different theoretical bases and professionals who are able to offer therapeutic services.

All our staff and Foster Carers recognise the importance of working in a therapeutic manner, and we prioritise training in understanding therapeutic fostering.

Five Rivers places a high priority in training its staff and Foster Carers in relation to attachment and the behaviours that are associated with this. This method is an essential tool in maintaining successful foster placements.

Our aim is to provide an accepting and emotionally warm family environment for children to live in, whilst at the same time offering clearly defined programmes of care. Where necessary and agreed, specific therapeutic work will be undertaken with individual children. Usually such work will be time limited, have clearly identified goals and be contractual in nature. Costs for these services are normally negotiated between responsible authorities and Five Rivers.

Children whose lives have been disrupted, who have been mistreated or who have not had the opportunities to grow and develop as most children do, require time and security to develop a sense of identity and self worth in order to grow and develop with confidence.

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