Third Mockingbird constellation launched in Doncaster

Last week saw the third Mockingbird constellation launched in Doncaster by Trust Fostering, with an ice-breaker launch event and social trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Trust Fostering, which is delivered by Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, has been running Mockingbird since 2015 as an alternative fostering method which aims to improve placement stability, safety and permanency.

The scheme brings together up to ten foster families to form a ‘satellite family’ based around a single ‘hub home’. At the hub home a specially trained carer provides support, understanding and friendship to all of those in the satellite family.

Hub carer Jo Pickles is the latest recruit to deliver Mockingbird to families in Doncaster. Speaking at her Mockingbird launch event she said: “I’m so excited to be the latest Mockingbird hub carer in Doncaster. I personally have had experience of being part of a Mockingbird satellite family which is what encouraged me to take up the role.”

Bringing together a number of foster families, Mockingbird helps to create an extended network of support, made up of likeminded foster families who face the same ups and downs as one another.

Jo added: “I love everything about Trust Fostering and the Mockingbird model; the way I was supported, the family model and the difference it makes to not just children and young people in care, but foster carers too.

“I’m excited to be able to support other families to be excellent foster carers in the same way that I have been supported.”

Sue May, Head of Look After Children’s Services at Doncaster Children’s Services Trust said: “The Mockingbird project has proved extremely successful in Doncaster. It is important that all foster placements are right for both the carers and the children and Mockingbird offers the support and stability that an extended family group can bring.”

A short video from the Yorkshire Wildlife Park trip has been created, which you can watch here

[Pictured: carers getting to know each other during an ice-breaker activity at the launch]

“I wanted to acknowledge the significant improvements made in the past year. The turnaround has been remarkable.”

Head of service from the NHS

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