New extended family support scheme for fostered children launched

Fostered children and young people in the borough are to receive extra support thanks to a new scheme to help fostering families in the borough.

Redcar and Cleveland has become the first area in the Tees Valley region to take part in the Mockingbird scheme. Mockingbird, a global award winning and pioneering programme led by The Fostering Network in the UK, delivers sustainable foster care.

It is an evidence-based model structured around the support and relationships an extended family provides

Fostered young people, carers and support teams launched the scheme as part of a family fun day at Redcar beach and it is expected the programme will enrich young lives for years to come.

The idea places a ‘Hub Home Carer’ at the centre of a group of fostering families who will provide guidance and support to the other foster carers, whilst providing social activities and sleepovers to the Children In Our Care to normalise their care -experience and enable them to develop relationships with others.

It’s a model which The Fostering Network in the UK has successfully managed in other areas across the UK.

Cabinet Member for Children, Cllr Alison Barnes, said:

“The Mockingbird family model exists to give extra support to our foster carers who look after some of our most vulnerable children - and the positive effects of this can last a lifetime. For any young person, going away for a night sometimes, or having another trusted person to talk to can make a huge difference to their well-being. Building up a long-standing close relationship with a child is hugely beneficial, especially if they have previously had a number of different placements.  I am confident that Mockingbird will be a success and I’d like to thank our hard-working and dedicated fostering team for securing such a valuable and innovative programme for our borough.”

Freya Burley, The Fostering Network’s Mockingbird Implementation Manager said:

“We’re so delighted to be able to celebrate the launch of Redcar and Cleveland’s first Mockingbird constellation. We’re really looking forward to continuing our partnership, and seeing the constellation start to provide vital support, friendships and good memories for the children, young people and families involved.”

Could you support a child or young person? Did you know our foster carers receive financial support? Contact the foster team on 01642 444087 or email