Working with the Fostering Network, the council’s fostering service is set to launch the Mockingbird Family Model in Barnsley from Monday 10 August. The project will be funded for two years by the Department for Education and aims to improve fostering placements, and strengthen the relationships between carers, children and young people, fostering services and birth families.
From next week, the first constellation of Mockingbird carers will be well underway, and the council is pleased to announce that they are recruiting foster carers to take part in the second phase of the model. The fostering service is particularly keen to recruit experienced carers and professionals from a caring background. Further information about the roles available can be found on the Mockingbird page.
The Fostering Network’s Mockingbird programme is an innovative way of delivering foster care using the Mockingbird Family Model. This is an extended family model that has the potential to improve placement stability, security, safety and permanence for children. It improves peer support for foster carers, includes regular joint planning and training, and social activities.
The success of the model has already demonstrated rewarding results across other local authorities and agencies, thanks to the high level of support and training. The Fostering Network reported that 17% of carers would have resigned, as well as 1 in 5 placement would have broken down if the programme hadn’t supported them.
Cllr Margaret Bruff, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “This is really exciting news for Barnsley and we’re looking forward to seeing the benefits that the programme will bring to both children and foster carers in our borough. The model will provide peer support, training and development for foster carers, as well as providing an extended family for our children.
"We always need people to put themselves forward as foster carers, and during this particularly difficult time, we still need to provide safe, stable and loving homes for local children. We currently have a number of children aged 5-18 who need long-term placements and most especially we are searching for families who can care for more than one child to enable brothers and sisters to be kept together.
Anyone who is interested in getting involved should complete an enquiry form online or contact the fostering team on (01226) 775876.