Forming a close-knit network of assistance for our foster parents

In honour of Social Work Week, Bury Council is extending a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all social workers in the area who dedicate themselves to supporting vulnerable children, young people, and adults.

As part of the week’s festivities, the council’s Fostering Team has introduced the Mockingbird Family Model project. This initiative aims to establish a close-knit family network community to provide enhanced opportunities and assistance to our foster carers and the children under their care.

Foster carers will be integrated into a larger family community consisting of 6-10 fostering families, overseen by a home carer and backed by a seasoned worker. Together, they will offer mutual aid and assistance, engage in social activities, provide planned and emergency care, encourage family stability, arrange sleepovers, and participate in training sessions.

The first of these family communities, known as ‘constellations’, will be implemented starting this week.

Councillor Lucy Smith, cabinet member for children and young people, expressed her enthusiasm for the Mockingbird model, emphasising its potential to positively impact the lives of children, young people, and their caregivers.

She remarked, “This award-winning programme, pioneered by The Fostering Network in the UK, focuses on nurturing supportive relationships. By collaborating with fellow foster carers and our social workers, families can address challenges together and access the necessary support and guidance. This innovative approach is just one of the many ways we are enhancing the prospects of our young people.

“I am thrilled that we are introducing this groundbreaking model to Bury and extend my gratitude to everyone involved for their dedication and hard work.”

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