The Public Sector Award 2014


Carer & Foster Child Stories & Testimonials

  • I would like to take this opportunity to thank Five Rivers directors, management, and staff for my placement in Donegal.

    When I arrived in Ireland 3 years ago I was frightened. Five Rivers gave me the opportunity at a new life for myself and my new home for the next few years was in Donegal, which are 3 years I will cherish. Over the course of the 3 years I matured greatly and developed self confidence which I did not have before. I was welcomed with open arms.

    I enjoyed school in the Abbey Vocational School and was encouraged in my education at all times by my foster carers. I was also encouraged to participate in after school activities.

    I used to attend NoName disco's and after sometime I become a leader and organiser of the discos this then lead me to start attending Forogie.

    Foroige offer a Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Programme. Basically this programme recognises the innate leadership capabilities and potential in young people and gives them an opportunity to develop their skills and attributes in a fun and encouraging environment.

    The National University of Ireland, Galway, accredited Foroige's leadership programme as a Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and CommunityAction. In October2013 Iattended NUIG and received my certificate for completing this course. This experience at a top Irish University really inspired me and now my goal is to achieve a Degree in Pharmaceutical Studies which I hope one day will come true.

    I have seen a big change in myself since I arrived in Ireland all those years ago. The placement in Donegal suited me, it was a friendly environment and made me feel at ease from the start which was important and helped me settle in. Encouraging me in my education studies and Youth Leadership has given me the belief that I can now one day achieve my goal of attending 3rd level education.

    Please feel free to share my story with other foster placement children to show that the future is infact very bright in foster placement. I have also attached my photograph taken at NUIG where I received my certificate.

    Again, I would like to thank Fiver Rivers for the last number of years in their care.

    Jean Claude.

    Five Rivers Ireland Foster Child

  • I found the assessment very thorough but my assessing social worker told me it would be! I found that a lot of questions were asked and at the time I did not know why. Once I read my report it all made sense. Now being a foster carer, I understand why my social worker needed to know all the information she asked about. I have a foster child with me and the placement is going really well for both of us. My social worker knows me so well, she knows exactly the support that I need. The support that I have received since my foster child arrived has been amazing. I never feel like I am on my own. Having gone through the process I would gladly do it all over again as seeing my foster child thrive and grow into the person that he wants to be is so rewarding

    C. B.

    Five Rivers Ireland Foster Carer on the Assessment Process

  • I’ve been a foster carer with Five Rivers Ireland for five years. During this time we’ve had many children stay with us, both long and short term. It’s hard to describe the feeling to see a child become comfortable and settled in your family, especially when they’ve been through a traumatic experience. Although sad, it’s very rewarding to see a child return to their family, where possible and know you helped them through that sad time. We had a little boy living with us for two years. We were heartbroken when he moved home, but himself and his Mum will be lifelong friends of our family. Our link worker, is more like a member of our family. She’s always there with a shoulder to cry on when a child leaves and offers endless support when a child moves in.

    The 24 hours on call service is so reassuring. Even if you never need to use it, to know there is someone at the end of the phone if I need them, makes me sleep better at night. If you feel you have room in your heart and your home for a child in need, I can’t recommend Five Rivers Ireland highly enough


    Five Rivers Ireland, Foster Carer

  • We joined Five Rivers Ireland approximately 2½ years ago after long consultations with them regarding our suitability and viability. We initially entered in to the ‘emergency respite service’ to test the waters, and whilst being sometimes difficult and testing, we also found it very rewarding. The support we received from Five Rivers Ireland is exceptional.

    We have since taken on the role of full time foster carers to a 15 year old girl. She has been with us nearly two years and whilst it has been fraught with problems, with the help of Five Rivers Ireland staff we have been helped through major issues.Even though it has been tough at times, it also gives us so much and it makes you happy to be part of her care. All in all we are very happy to be part of the foster care team and working with Five Rivers Ireland has proved to be very successful


    Five Rivers Ireland, Foster Carer

  • When we first started our journey with Five Rivers Ireland, little did we know the wonderful family we were about to gain, with all the fun and acceptance which that entails. As the days, weeks and months passed and placements were made, we experienced deep veins of support and guidance from all professionals.Every success was celebrated and each problem was shared, we never once felt alone. Training was always on offer and great fun, yet informative and helpful also. We have gained so much as foster carers and we can honestly say that in five Rivers Ireland we have gained as a whole family, in more ways than one

    D and S. P.

    Five Rivers Ireland, Foster Carers

  • Bringing children in to your home, helping them and seeing them change in front of your eyes is so rewarding!Knowing that what you do is helping the children and their families, it’s such a good feeling when all goes well and the children can return home.We found since we have fostered it has brought out feelings in us, we didn’t know we had.


    Five Rivers Ireland, Foster Carer

  • Our initial assessment and training took place over a six month period and involved regular meetings with our link social worker from Five Rivers Ireland. We were trained for fostering in general, and for emergency care fostering in particular.

    Initially, it was quite daunting to receive a phone call in the middle of the night seeking to place a young person in our care. However, we soon realised that there was nothing to fear and that the person coming to us was in need of an emergency place of safety. As emergency carers since June 2009, we have welcomed several young people, ranging in age from 6 months to 17 years into our home. Placements have lasted from just one night up to seven nights.

    For us it has been a most rewarding experience. Our lives have been enriched, especially by the young people who came to stay with us, but also by all the carers and social workers with whom we have come into contact through fostering. We have always felt completely supported by the staff of Five Rivers Ireland and by our own link social worker in particular. It is reassuring to know that there is a social worker on-call 24 hours a day if the need arises.

    We are truly glad that we became foster carers. We would recommend to anyone who has an interest in fostering to make enquiries about the different types of fostering possibilities to see which one they may be able to do.


    Five Rivers Ireland, Foster Carer