Johan, Operations Manager, Fostering
Johan is a Fostering Operations Manager. He is home-based but spends much of my time visiting offices in his area of responsibility – which is the whole of the West of England.
How long have you worked at Five Rivers?
I joined Five Rivers in July 2014.
Have you always worked in residential/fostering care?
No, not always in fostering but in social work for the length of my career (26 years) and for the majority of that time I have been working in fostering. I have previously managed and set up a joint therapeutic service with a CAMHS service in a Local Authority to prevent family breakdown and young people entering the care system. Before that, I worked in an alcohol and drug rehabilitation outpatient clinic and as a social worker in the prison service.
What’s the best thing at Five Rivers Fostering?
Being a Social Enterprise – I am very proud to work for an organisation that re-invests to develop services with the aim to benefit and reach out to many more young people. I find it difficult to single out what could be seen as the “best thing” for me personally, but I really value being part of a super team of staff in various roles all working towards the same goal.
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy gardening although would not describe myself as green-fingered! My favourite activity must be going away for weekends in my motorhome.
Tell us something interesting that you have done or experienced?
I always attend as many of our events for young people as I can. I value the opportunity to meet up with young people and foster carers.
Did this experience teach you anything that helps you in your job with young people?
Attending these events is always a positive and somewhat humbling experience as it reconfirms that my career choice is absolutely spot on for me. It also reminds me of the reasons why I wake up and start every day with a feeling of newness and potential because every day is different, and a new opportunity to change lives for the better for everybody involved.
What are your career aspirations and how could Five Rivers help you reach them?
I am career-driven and have seen every step of my career as an opportunity to support, learn and influence. I have been fortunate to have different opportunities during my short time with Five Rivers and I aspire to work as part of the senior management team. Five Rivers offers me training and opportunities to be exposed to new experiences – all of which will prepare me for the next step within the organisation.