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The Mockingbird Family Model

The Mockingbird Family Model is a new way of providing foster care in Stockton-on-Tees.

When you are an approved foster carer with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, you have the option to join a supportive community with up to 10 other foster families. This is known as a Mockingbird 'constellation'.

At the heart of the group there is a 'hub home' where a specially recruited and trained foster carer support the 'satellite homes' in their constellation.

The global awarding winning programme, which was introduced in the UK by the Fostering Network, replicates a support network like that of an extended family. It offers our foster carers emotional and practical support - much like that a non-fostering family might receive from friends and relatives.

Foster carers who are part of Mockingbird can benefit from:

  • planned breaks and if required, emergency sleepovers for children and young people in the satellite homes (offering continuity of care rather than different respite placements)
  • regular social events and days out to allow the adults, children and young people to meet, build friendships and have fun
  • monthly coffee mornings
  • additional support and mentoring
  • networks of strong and authentic relationships that are a safe space for practical advice and emotional support

The model has been proven to have significant benefits for all involved to help to normalise foster care. This is done by keeping siblings close together even if not in the same household, improving placement stability, safety and permanency for children and young people, whilst also enhancing the network of support for foster carers to alleviate feelings of isolation. We are delighted that it is now available in Stockton-on-Tees for our foster carers to be part of if they wish.

You can watch a video and meet hub home carers Colette and Mark in our first constellation.

We are looking to grow our Mockingbird programme with more constellations across Stockton-on-Tees. To find out more about becoming a foster carer and to apply, visit our become a foster carer page.  

If you are currently a foster carer and are interested in becoming a satellite home or a home hub carer, speak to your supervising social worker for more details.

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