Welcome to Five Rivers Fostering Website. In 2002 Five Rivers Fostering began the journey towards becoming the first Independent Fostering Agency to establish in the Republic of Ireland. Our goal is to build on the strong tradition of caring that exists in Ireland and to recruit and support families of all kinds who can care for children and young people with a wide range of needs. Five Rivers Fostering is a Social Enterprise. The values of equality, respect and a belief in the potential of individuals are at the core of all Five Rivers work.
Fourteen years on we have grown our organisation and have over one hundred wonderful foster families across the country who provide excellent care. The families come from a wide range of backgrounds as do the children and young people who are cared for. We have grown our staff team over the years and we are now a multi-disciplinary team who are all committed to achieving the best outcomes for children and young people. In 2011 we opened an office in Cork to support our foster families in Munster. Michelle Kennedy continues to manage the team in Munster. In 2014 we purchased a house in Kilkenny which serves as a base for training, therapy, support and our fostering team. We also have staff based in Donegal and are expanding to develop other regional bases.
Five Rivers has invested heavily in building our therapeutic team. In 2015 we welcomed Daire Gilmartin Senior Counselling Psychologist to our therapeutic team. He works closely with Fiona Murphy, training, development and therapeutic services manager. In our team we now have play therapists, psychotherapists, and social care workers who work alongside our social workers. The staff team are highly skilled and dedicated to supporting families and children and helping them to achieve the best outcomes.
Over the last four years we have grown our education services. In January 2015 Paul McQuaid joined Five Rivers. With a Masters in Education he is continuing to develop the range of educational supports that we can offer to children and young people. He is currently undertaking a Phd in Educational Psychology.
We recognise that investment in education is an investment in the future of individual young people as well as an investment in the impact that they can have on their families and the community as they develop and become adults.
Five Rivers continues to work closely with Tusla the Child and Family agency and other organisations that work with young people. We expect to expand our services over the next few years and are always looking to recruit new foster families. We also expect to have career opportunities in the future. I would urge anybody who would like to become part of Five Rivers Fostering to view the website and complete the online foster application or to make contact with our Dublin or Cork office.
Deirdre McDonagh, Managing Director
Brian Dignam, Operations Manager/Director
Five Rivers Fostering's main objective is to be a leading provider of high quality foster care services. Our philosophy is to provide as normal an environment as possible for children and young people who cannot live with their own families.
We recognise that each young person is an individual with talents and qualities as well as difficulties and problems that are unique to them. We aim to tailor each placement to suit the needs of the child or young person being cared for. Five Rivers Fostering operates an anti-discriminatory policy and aims to recognise the culture and values of young people, carers and staff.
In order to achieve these aims and objectives Five Rivers Fostering has a wide range of foster families available and can offer many different types of foster families who can meet various placement needs. In addition Five Rivers Fostering has a wide range of resources available to support our foster families and the children and young people living in them.
Qualified as a social worker in 1996 from Trinity College Dublin. She also holds an MA in Health Care Management. Deirdre has been working in Five Rivers Ireland since it started in 2002. With previous experience of working in child protection she has developed the organisation. Deirdre has been Managing Director since 2003 and has always been focused on building an organisation that values children and families. She has worked to build a multi-disciplinary team who are just as driven to provide a foster care service that is of a high standard and meets the needs of a wide range of children. Deirdre believes that foster families are the linchpin of the Irish care system and need to be well supported, trained and acknowledged for the contribution that they make to the lives of children and young people. Deirdre has sought to ensure that foster families are key partners in the organisation and aims to ensure that this value is upheld through the organisation.
Brian Dignam joined the five Rivers team in 2011, Brian is a director of the company and holds the position of Operations Manager. Brian has worked in the HSE, Dept of Education and the Health Boards, managing residential services and has extensive experience managing services for young people in care.
I am the Fostering Manager of the Munster team, based in Cork. I have worked with Five Rivers Fostering since June 2008. Initially I spent almost three years in the Dublin office as a Social Worker before setting up the Munster office in January 2011. I have worked in the capacity of a Fostering Manager since then. My main role involves supporting the team in their direct work with foster families. I am also a trained Marte Meo attachment therapist.