You may have seen the word ‘Mockingbird’ pop up when reading about fostering - but what is it? Mockingbird is a model of support system for foster families and it comes in the form of one central ‘Mockingbird hub’, another home match, which supports six to ten fostering households.
The idea originated in 2004 by The Mockingbird Society in America. The hub provides a safe place for looked after children for planned and emergency sleepovers, or short breaks, as well as support and advice on any matters relating to fostering. The purpose of Mockingbird is to ensure young people in foster care have stability and support. The same applies to the foster carer, the Mockingbird hub gives them a place to get any advice they need.
Mockingbird has allowed children to build positive relationships with a number of adults who are invested in their safety and well-being.
Benefits of Mockingbird
Foster caring, just like any type of caring, can come with its challenges and the main benefit of the Mockingbird is that it provides a safe place for looked after children and carers. For example, if foster carers need a break or perhaps are going on holiday and need care for the looked after child, the hub can act as respite or a second home. In this respect, it ensures continuity of care for the looked after child. In some cases, foster carers might be facing challenges and the Mockingbird hub can help to empower families, ensuring problems are solved quickly and empathetically, using therapeutic parenting tools. If a foster carer does not have a close family support network, they can sometimes feel isolated, especially if they are not in direct contact with other foster carers, and this hub gives them a safe place where they can receive practical advice and emotional support.
Mockingbird has allowed children to build positive relationships with a number of adults who are invested in their safety and well-being. It provides the looked after child with a sense of community, they know they have support from a range of different people. It can act as a bit of safety net for both the looked after child and the carer. They know they always have someone to support them, regardless of what happens with the home match. It can allow the foster child to develop the necessary skills that will allow them to return to their birth family in the future, if appropriate. With the help of the Mockingbird hub, a number of short-term home matches have turned into long-term home matches, which shows that the model really does work.
The Mockingbird model has achieved a lot of positive results in Rotherham and we believe it is fantastic support for both looked after children and carers. It is by no means however the only support available to our Rotherham foster families. Read more about our other fantastic support systems here.
Learn more about fostering in Rotherham
If you have any questions about fostering in Rotherham, book a call back with a member of our experienced team at a time that suits you. All our call backs are confidential.