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More support for foster carers

Posted on Thursday 24th March 2022
Foster Carers and Sade

Left to right: Jacquie and Stuart Forrester Foster Carers, Sadé Liburd, Senior Practitioner Mockingbird Liaison Worker.

Foster carers in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent will get additional support thanks to a new project.

Following a successful trial last year, Staffordshire County Council has launched a new project which will see experienced foster carers supporting those new to fostering.

The approach, known as the Mockingbird Constellation, will bring together small groups of between six and ten foster carers, who will receive extra advice and guidance on best practice in fostering. It hopes to improve the stability of fostering households and strengthen the relationships between children and young people, foster carers, birth families and fostering services.

Staffordshire foster carers Jacquie and Stuart Forrester are leading the first of the partnership’s constellations.

Jacquie said:

I have been fostering for over seven years and I recognise the importance of supporting foster carers but also the children they care for. I am really looking forward to getting to know the families in the constellation and using my experience to offer them this additional support.

We know that relationships can take a while to form, however the launch provided a starting point and an opportunity for the families to socialise and begin building relationships. For the children, they also got the chance to begin forming bonds and friendships whilst taking part in fun activities.”

Mark Sutton, Cabinet member for Children and Young People at Staffordshire County Council said:

The Mockingbird project is a fantastic opportunity for us to offer additional support to our foster carers and the children and young people in their care.

We all recognise the importance stability makes to children’s lives and this will provide additional peer support, helping them make new connections and thrive. It’s also vital that foster carers can develop their skills and be informed about the latest developments and techniques. We’re all looking forward to many more constellations and hope they help attract more families to fostering.”

The Mockingbird approach is being led by national charity The Fostering Network, with Staffordshire launching its approach on Saturday 12 March in Leek.

It’s the first constellation for Staffordshire County Council and Stoke on Trent City Council and is part of the wider Together4Children Partnership between four councils. Telford & Wrekin Council launched their successful Mockingbird pilot last year with Shropshire Council.

Staffordshire County Council is looking for more foster carers and anyone interested in fostering is encouraged to visit www.fosterforstaffordshire.co.uk for further information.

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Contact the newsroom

These contact details are for journalists and members of the media only:

Email: pressoffice@staffordshire.gov.uk
Call: 01785 895050

If you are not a journalist or member of the media and have a general enquiry please:

Email: contactus@staffordshire.gov.uk
Call: 0300 111 8000

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