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The Mockingbird programme aims to support our foster carers and young people in care by creating a support system similar to an extended family.

Mockingbird nurtures the relationships between children, young people and foster families supporting them to build a resilient and caring community.

How Mockingbird works

The programme involves foster carers being part of a group with other foster carers who are described as satellite foster homes. It brings together up to ten foster families to form what is known as a constellation.

At the heart of each constellation is a hub home which provides resources and support to the satellite homes overseen by a specially recruited and trained foster carer supports.

The aim of the model is to create a support network similar to that of an extended family, providing children and their carers with support, including sleepovers where appropriate and shared social activities.

Support to foster families

The constellation community offers vital peer support and guidance alongside social activities, planned and emergency sleepovers and learning and development opportunities to strengthen relationships and permanence.

People in the constellation meet monthly and arrange regular activities for both foster carers and the children they care for.

Hub carers receive comprehensive training, a dedicated social worker and an out-of-hours phone line.

Key benefits include:

  • A strong and robust structure to support children, young people and fostering families through times of crisis and transition
  • Access to social support and mentoring for satellite carers
  • Planned and emergency respite care 24/7, including day care and overnight stays
  • Help to navigate the system and access community resources

The hub home can also provide a neutral environment for shared decision-making meetings, social worker visits, and sibling and birth family visits. As well as critical support to social workers, thus increasing safety, wellbeing and permanence.


Mockingbird led by The Fostering Network in the UK, delivers sustainable foster care. It is an evidence-based model structured around the support and relationships an extended family provides.