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Professional Foster Care

Have you ever thought about becoming a Professional Foster Carer?

Social services and other agencies providing care for children in difficulty always need Foster Carers – there is currently a national shortage of Foster Carers.On any given day there are upto 65,000 children in care of which 45,000 are in foster care. The current shortage is 8,750. We therefore need families to offer homes for the children in our care.

Did you know? Five Rivers operates as a Social Enterprise, which means we are very different to other organisations as our principal purpose is to ‘deliver psychological well-being for the children in our care’. We therefore invest the majority of our financial surpluses back into the organisation to support our social objective. – this makes us very differrent compared to other companies offering Fostering Services.

Why become a Professional Foster Carer?
Potential Foster Carers may have jobs, children of their own or maybe no children at all. They each know what it’s like to struggle and work through family problem and maybe even personal problems of their own and at Five Rivers we need Foster Carers of all ages from all walks of life.

Many people used to be excluded from Fostering for having a minor criminal record but nowadays there is greater flexibility, indeed this can give great insight into the troubled lives of children needing care.

The allowances are good; the support and training is first class helping you provide recovery for even the most challenging children and young people. If you have been a professional Teacher, Social Worker, Youth Worker or Nurse, you will find that becoming a professional Foster Carer may reimburse you at the same level as your previous job or sometimes more!

More often than not we are often asked to find families for children and teenagers over the age of 10. They often end up in care at a later age, although providing a sense of normality is not too late for these children.

They have experienced abusive backgrounds from an adult world they once trusted and will need a supportive family to help rebuild their lives or perhaps for the first time gain a sense of trust and belonging.

Above all we at Five Rivers are of the belief that where possible all children should have the option of living in a family environment. Children under the age of 10 are sometimes placed in adoptive placements depending on their circumstances.

Support provided by Five Rivers Foster Care Service
As a Five Rivers Professional Foster Carer you will have a dedicated qualified Social Worker that will get to know you and your family really well. They will help plan for you and your family as well as the child you look after. They are on hand at the end of the phone and through regular visits and they will form a professional relationship with you to ensure that the best support and guidance is available.

This support is available 24/7 at weekends and at night through an on-call system which will enable you to speak to a team of professional Social Workers who you will know through training and social events and this network of support is vital in helping you deal with the many challenges of looking after any young person.

Meeting with other Foster Carers is a useful tool in helping to build a strong support network. They are the kind of people who are good friends in times of trouble; they listen and understand each other as well as the children they look after and they really understand the sort of issues you are likely to face as a Foster Carer. You will find you’ll make some really good friends and they will be part of the support you build.

Most groups of Foster Carers arrange to get together to talk about training and to socialise. All this helps you get through the tough times and ultimately to get great satisfaction from the fact that you’ve made a hugely positive difference to a child’s life. To a child who is placed long-term you will often become their family with all the fun and tears that inevitably follow.

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Do you feel you have the energy and true commitment to make a positive difference to a child’s or young person’s life?

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