I’ve worked on the mockingbird family model since it’s inception in 2015 and my current role is Liaison Worker for the four ‘constellations’ of upto ten foster families who spend time together building a support network akin to an extended family. Each constellation is led by hub carers who organise events, offer peer coaching, provide sleepovers for the looked after children and young people in their constellation and are often called upon to assist in in an emergency situation.
My primary role is to be the contact between Heath Farm and each constellation. I work closely with hub carers to ensure that we are offering the model as it is intended; as a consistent support to every member of every fostering family and that is what I offer to the hub carers, the day-to-day support and oversight. I keep track of how each constellation is functioning and report to both Heath Farm and The Fostering Network who oversee the whole model.
There are definite perks to my role, such as attending the events and seeing how supportive all carers, children and young people are. I see daily how the model holds placements together, family bonds are maintained and opens up carers and children to new challenges which with support, they overcome. I share learning across all of our constellations to strengthen the work that goes on and I have loved seeing something that started as a small pilot become this huge, transformational, vital source of support leading to a normalisation of care and I hope, many life long links.