Mockingbird programme

About the Mockingbird programme

The Mockingbird programme is an alternative method of delivering foster care which centres on the idea of an extended network of family support. It empowers families to support each other and overcome problems before they escalate, and offers children a more positive experience of care.

The programme uses the concept of a constellation, where six to 10 satellite families live in close proximity to a dedicated hub home which provides peer support, planned and emergency respite care and regular social activities. The constellation also builds links with other adults important to children’s care plans and to resources in the wider community that can provide them with enhanced opportunities to learn, develop and succeed.

The Mockingbird programme is run by The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity, in conjunction with The London Borough of Waltham Forest Fostering Service and other fostering services across the UK. The programme has been running since 2015 and has the potential to improve placement stability, safety and permanency for children and young people in care and to improve support for, and retention of, foster carers. To find out about the national programme visit