JAPAN professional delegates have visited a Salisbury organisation to learn about UK social care and welfare.

Five Rivers Child Care, who provide a support service for foster children and carers, were visited by 19 visitors from Japan as part of their UK trip to exchange specialist knowledge and compare how childcare is dealt with in the two different countries.

The visitors included social workers, care home managers, psychotherapists and academics.

In Japan majority of welfare is funded by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) with Shiseido, where children in Japan live together under institutional care with limited family connection, whereas the UK system is focussed on finding children a life in a residential home setting.

Founder and CEO of Five Rivers Child Care, Pam McConnell said it was an "absolute pleasure" welcoming the delegates from Japan, adding: "I am a firm believer in sharing best practice for the greater good.

“It’s fascinating for us to hear how other countries approach children’s services and really encouraging to see how interested the group were in our research studies and in the way we advocate integrated care for vulnerable children and young people."

Launched in 1989, the social enterprise has helped more than 600 children and young people.

Ms McConnell added: "Therapeutic assessment and care should be integrated into the school day and be reflected in the young person’s environment whereas it appears in Japan this is not so readily available.”

The visitor group were keen to learn of not only Five Rivers' work but the mixture of different services and different providers in the UK, and how these voluntary, not for profit, state and private sectors are in collaboration to care for children and young people.