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Mockingbird Family Model

Royal Greenwich is one of the pioneering London boroughs to offer the Fostering Network's Mockingbird Family Model to its foster carers, ensuring enhanced support for our carers and the children and young people they are looking after using an ‘extended family model’.

This has been shown to improve stability of fostering placements and strengthen relationships between carers, those in their care, birth families, and social care professionals, creating a supportive community that empowers everyone involved.

How the Mockingbird programme works

Mockingbird is an innovative new way of supporting foster families by providing expert peer support, social activities, regular joint planning and training sessions, and respite through sleepovers and short breaks – whether planned or in an emergency.

The Mockingbird ‘extended family model’ uses the concept of a ‘constellation’, which is a group of six to ten families that each link to a central ‘hub home’.

A hub home is a fostering household with at least two spare rooms, run by experienced foster carers who are always on call to offer advice and support to the families they are linked with.

Constellations are designed to mimic an extended family, with the hub at the centre adopting the role of trustworthy and experienced relatives that can be called upon as and when required. Constellation carers usually live near their dedicated hub home.

At present, Royal Greenwich has four constellations that include a total of 29 satellite homes.

Watch this video to learn more

The underpinning principles of Mockingbird

  • Placement stability
  • Development of positive and supportive relationships
  • Community-based care
  • Continuity of care
  • Engagement with birth family
  • Recruitment and retention of a skilled foster carer workforce through effective support and provision of high quality training

More information

If you are already a foster carer with Royal Greenwich and would like to find out more about joining our Mockingbird Family Model or interested in becoming a foster carer for the first time, please email fostering.duty@royalgreenwich.gov.uk or call 0800 052 1499 to find out more.