Bradford launches ground-breaking foster care project

Bradford Council has launched a ground-breaking new foster care project in partnership with The Fostering Network, following a £150,000 funding award from the Department for Education’s Innovation Programme.

Last week saw the launch of Bradford’s first two Mockingbird ‘constellations’ with a big party involving all the families concerned.

Mockingbird constellations bring together up to ten foster ‘satellite’ families focused on a ‘hub’ foster home. At the hub home, a specially trained foster carer provides support, understanding and friendship to all of those in the satellite family.

The hub also builds links with other families integral to the children’s care plans and to resources in the wider community which can provide them with enhanced opportunities to learn, develop and succeed.

Bradford launched two constellations, which will provide support to families from Bierley through to Keighley in one of the two hub homes.

Carers Deborah and Tracey are the hub carers delivering Mockingbird to families in Bradford. Speaking at the launch event, Tracey said: “I feel passionate about this new adventure and it’s an amazing project that will improve the lives of many foster carers and the children in their care.

“Mockingbird empowers children in care and foster carers by normalising their experiences and connecting them with people like them who are sharing the same kind of experiences.

“I am sure we will build relationships with our hub families that will last a lifetime.”

The Fostering Service Manager, Claire Brodie, said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with The Fostering Network to launch this new fostering project in Bradford.

“We hope that the Mockingbird model will empower foster families to support each other to give children in our district a more positive experience of foster care.

“This is an exciting time to foster for Bradford Council and Mockingbird will add to the significant support offered to new and experienced carers in Bradford, making fostering more rewarding than ever.”

For more information about how to become a foster carer in Bradford, visit www.fosterbradford.co.uk

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