The Mockingbird Programme, which is offered by less than 20 organisations nationwide, was officially launched last Friday at Arbour Park Stadium. Using an extended family model, it works by building a supportive community around foster carers empowering them to take on the role of an extended family. This extra support means foster carers are better able to meet the needs of the children and young people in their care.
Within the model are constellations, each made up of 6-10 foster families and a central hub home carer who provides respite care, peer support, training and social activities. Mockingbird empowers those within the constellation to support each other and overcome challenges.
The model was originally developed by The Mockingbird Society in the United States but has since been introduced to the UK by The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity. Government reports on fostering consistently mention Mockingbird as an innovative way to deliver foster care.
Nancy Magon, who led the development of Mockingbird at the Trust, commented: “We’re really excited to be bringing Mockingbird to Slough and are convinced it will make a big difference to our foster carers, providing them with access to much greater support. This will work alongside a range of other support we provide including training, out of hours service and social events. We are lucky to have a terrific group of foster carers, who provide loving, nurturing homes to some of Slough’s more vulnerable children.”
To find out more about Mockingbird Programme, or fostering in general, visit Slough Children’s Services Trust’s website at www.sloughchildrenfirst.co.uk, or contact their fostering team by phoning 0800 0730291 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.