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Pioneering fostering project wins UK charity award 

Published: 16/10/2020

Fostered children and young people in Flintshire are now benefitting from an award-winning fostering programme. 

TFN mockingbird diagram_COLOUR_with title.jpgFlintshire County Council’s fostering service is part of the Mockingbird programme, run by The UK’s leading fostering charity The Fostering Network, which has seen off other outstanding projects to win the Big Impact Award at this year’s Third Sector Awards. 

Mockingbird uses a pioneering model which sees a constellation of fostering households set up in a similar structure to that of an extended family. 

Through successes such as avoiding relationship breakdowns in fostering households and retaining foster carers who may otherwise have left the role, the programme has seen excellent outcomes. This has included having helped fostering services avoid costs of around £3 million between May 2018 and March 2020. 

Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said: 

“It is a fantastic initiative. Flintshire social care is leading the way in fostering.”

This extended family model provides a high level of stability to children and young people and strengthens relationships between all members of the constellations, including birth families and social workers. 

Gavin, a Mockingbird foster carer, said: 

“It’s been brilliant to be part of the first Flintshire Mockingbird constellation. The peer support has been fantastic and we are collectively getting so much out of this new way of working.”

Head of the Mockingbird programme, Lily Stevens, said: 

“We are delighted to have won in this category, it is testament to the faith of our funders and partners in a compassionate, sustainable, new way of delivering foster care. It is also speaks volumes about the efforts of everyone involved in the programme.” 

The Mockingbird programme, which delivers the Mockingbird Family Model originally developed by The Mockingbird Society in America in 2004, is run by the UK’s leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network, and part-funded by the Department for Education. The programme now comprises 39 partners and 61 constellations across Great Britain. 

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