Pioneering Stockport fostering project wins UK charity award

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

Stockport 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.

Alison Mullane, Stockport’s Mockingbird Liaison Officer said: “Our hub carers and satellite carers within our constellations have continued throughout Covid 19 and during the lock down restrictions to promote the Mockingbird project in Stockport and by doing so have maintained some very difficult and complex placements.

"They have ensured a continued commitment to the children in their care and the Mockingbird project. I am very proud to be part of Mockingbird and it is wonderful that this has been recognised with the “Big impact” award from the third sector."

One of Stockport's Mockingbird foster carers said: "Being part of this has changed the way I feel, it has re-ignited my passion for fostering and in turn enabled me to keep looking after more children, being part of a Mockingbird family is inspirational.”

Councillor Colin Foster, Cabinet Member for Children, Family Services and Education, said: “We are proud that Stockport is part of such an innovative fostering programme, a sustainable new way of delivering foster care here in Stockport. Congratulations to everyone involved in the programme, we are delighted to have won in this category.”

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.

For more information about Stockport Council's Mockingbird Project visit Stockport Council's Fostering pages.