Five Rivers draws on deep experience of offering therapeutically-informed practice.
It was in 1989 that we first welcomed girls and boys into our residential care, countering their experiences of abuse, neglect, trauma, and family and placement breakdowns, with home environments that bring a sense of calm, care and belonging.
Our high-quality residential environments around the country provide a trusted and expert resource for local authorities facing challenging and complex behaviour that is beyond the capacity of their local service provision.
We focus on creating opportunity for change. Our staff are trained in therapeutic communication styles, promoting well-being through a combination of authentic warmth and an authoritative parenting style. This approach has proved to be effective across a broad spectrum of needs.
Holistic care in a home from home
Our experienced practitioners are trained and supported to deliver specialist clinical inputs by Five Rivers’ Assessment and Therapy experts.
They also work in excellent residential environments; we continuously invest in our homes, enhancing living spaces, improving administrative efficiency and introducing innovative holistic approaches, informed by the latest research in the sector.
Integrated care management
We focus on the whole child, and therefore adopt a holistic approach that offers therapeutic, clinical and educational support in the care plans we tailor for each child.
This is only possible in a therapeutic-based organisation where assessment, intervention, consultancy and training run across each of our Residential, Education and Fostering services. We create an integrated therapeutic environment, supported by our Assessment and Therapy services.
We work in an integrated way involving our Education and Assessment and Therapy services (even when the children are not receiving daily support from these services). We also focus on their health, nutrition and physical well-being, all of which are fundamental to a child’s development.
Our integrated care management model
Every child has unique therapeutic, clinical and educational needs, so Five Rivers does not subscribe to the ‘one model fits all’ approach. We create a bespoke, integrated package of interventions with the full range of Five Rivers’ resources and specialisms applied in a joined-up and tailored way.
Where possible, we believe that children and young people benefit most from a mainstream education. However, this is not always possible and many who come to stay in our specialist residential care services require the consistency and dedication of an integrated team.
Everyone placed with us has the opportunity to attend a Five Rivers Independent EBD School, either on- or off-site. And later, we support them in any transition to a mainstream school or college; we work closely with local LEAs to achieve the right placement, based on recommendations of any statements and risk assessments.
Emergency residential child care – Crisis Intervention
Our emergency residential care stands ready to respond in the event of a crisis, such as a placement breakdown. This bespoke response is based on the presenting needs of the child or young person, following careful consideration of compatibility and an adequate risk assessment.
Children can stay at our Goodmayes home in Ilford for an initial period of up to 17 days. In some instances and when necessary this may be extended. This additional period is to allow placing authorities adequate time to seek an appropriate long-term placement. Depending on availability, this may include a transition to our longer-term services, following a compatibility assessment and considered transition planning.
Group living residential child care
Our group homes provide warm and therapeutic residential placements for children and young people. We aim to provide the benefit of a period of stability in residential care that allows them to re-engage with education and, where applicable, work towards independence or a return to their family or foster family.
We provide homes that can cater for all-female or all-male placements, as well as mixed gender and younger age groups. With the exception of our emergency placement homes, we provide integrated packages of care, education and therapy, and seek to achieve positive progress in children’s lives through joint working with key professionals and placing authorities.
We offer placements to children who have experienced trauma and who display attachment difficulties, or challenging, emotional behavioural difficulties, or autism, and who need medium- to long-term specialist care. We draw on practice-based evidence and current research into child development, attachment, neuroscience and therapeutic community work.
Solo residential child care
This service is for children and young people, male or female, who display emotional and behavioural problems, attachment disorders, or who have suffered childhood trauma. They may be unable to live with others and will benefit from living in a solo therapeutic environment. In turn, this enables them to move on, either to a group-living residential home, fostering, a return home or on to independence.
This child-centred, bespoke package comprises care, therapy and education, fulfilling educational and emotional needs. We also offer tailored daily activities to meet the child’s needs, to engage them fully and promote positive change and outcomes.
We make all admissions following an in-depth assessment of their needs, and risks to themselves or to others. We accept same-day placements, if it is felt appropriate that a rapid transition will benefit the child or young person; and that the objectives of the placement are aligned with the home’s purpose; and that appropriate planning can take place.
From care to where? – Transitions to adulthood
The transition from childhood to adulthood can be daunting for anyone, but for looked-after children it can be especially so. Statistically, they are also much more likely to need to claim state benefits at an early age, and clearly this does little towards supporting their long-term financial independence.
One of Five Rivers’ key responsibilities is to help our children reach a point in their recovery where they can live, learn and work independently once they leave care. We use individual plans to encourage each child to explore the full range of post-care education and employment opportunities available to them. There are many options, including:
- Further education and higher education. Via a range of agencies, care leavers can receive financial help up to the age of 25, to support them in full-time education.
- Work-based learning (WBL). Young people can access WBL programmes such as apprenticeships in a wide variety of trades and skills, as a component of a full-time or part-time role. Apprenticeship frameworks enable them to earn a weekly salary while they are learning and gaining qualifications in their chosen occupation. Apprenticeships provide a structured path for continued professional development and are a well-regarded route towards gaining a fulfilling career, valuable qualifications and financial independence.
- Work placements. These can be short- or medium-term opportunities that enable young people to gain experience in a working environment. These placements can be associated with WBL schemes and create an opportunity to learn, earn and develop experience in a work environment that will support them in seeking permanent employment.
Young people can access a range of employment and training support services through several publicly-funded agencies, as well as specialist recruiters. These services enable them to understand what to expect in the world of work: from writing skills for CVs and job applications, to the importance of timekeeping and dress code, and understanding their rights and responsibilities.