4 May 2022

Following the success of South Australia’s first MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ Constellation, Life Without Barriers has launched a second Constellation in the city’s north-eastern suburbs.

Image: Left to right: Robyn Skilbeck DCP, Michelle Jones Flinders University, Sue Barr DCP, Simone Mather CYF Director, Katrine Hildyard Minister Child Protection, Kerry Curry CYF Operations Manager, Debraha Bills Carer Ambassador and Hub Home Provider and Helen McLaren Flinders University.

Life Without Barriers’ second MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ constellation was launched in April at the residence of Hub Home providers, Deb Bills and Adam Price in Adelaide’s north-eastern suburbs.

It was a wonderful event with over 30 guests including Foster Carers and young people involved in the constellation, Minister Katrine Hildyard, Life Without Barriers staff, and representation from the Department for Child Protection and Flinders University.

Simone Mather, Life Without Barriers Director Child Youth and Family SA, opened the launch by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land and provided an overview of the MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ program. During the event, Minister Katrine Hildyard spoke about the importance of being a community and the need for Carers to feel supported, acknowledging all the families involved and their commitment to children in care.

A lot of fun was had at the event, with the Life Without Barriers’ Living Arts team facilitating a range of activities.

A woven sign made out of black fabric with the words Be Brave, Make Change

Image: Be Brave. Make Change woven sculpture activity inviting people to weave colour through these frames using natural and man-made fibres as they explore the Reconciliation Week 2022 theme.

Mini tours were given of the inside of the Living Arts Mobile Multimedia Van which is fitted out as a mobile recording studio and digital suite. These tours inspired more than one conversation about music sessions and potential projects with the MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ Constellation members in the future.

White table with a canvas and drawing materials on it and in the background is a sign saying Be Brake Make Change

Image: With the MOCKINGBIRD logo central, all attendees were invited to contribute artwork and messages to a community canvas that is now on display in the north-east MOCKINGBIRD Hub Home. All the young people present contributed artwork and many of the guests and Carers added messages of support around this community focused care model.

At the launch, there was a buzz of excitement in the air about the new constellation. Experienced Foster Carer and Home Hub Provider Deb Bills spoke of her enthusiasm for the new constellation, saying;

Like Cold Chisel, I grew up in the north-east.

I'm proud of how our diverse community looks to support young people and their families in their life journey."

"Serving as Mockingbird Hub Home providers with Life Without Barriers enables Adam and I to collaborate in creating a sense of community with Foster Carers and the young people with whom they are building safe supportive 'Everyday moments'.

"We're excited about the potential for our Hub to grow and the successes to come for all involved!”

Life Without Barriers staff and carers gathered in a group photo.

MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ is an amazing opportunity for carers to have support, children to have extended families, experienced carers to provide mentoring and role modelling, and an opportunity for carers to have their own community.

The launch of this new constellation comes with so much excitement, passion and commitment. It brings a combination of experienced and new carers together that will continue to care for and nurture all of the children and young people involved.

We are also excited to announce that a third South Australia constellation is currently in the planning phase for Life Without Barriers Carers in the Adelaide Hills, with an expected launch date around the end of June.

The roll-out of MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ Constellations in South Australia is part of a twelve-month pilot, in partnership with and funded by, the Department for Child Protection which aims to provide Carers and children with a strong support network in their local community.

Mockingbird constellation graphic.

What is MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™?

MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ is an innovative, evidence-informed foster care model which unites six to 10 Foster and/or Kinship Carer homes called ‘Satellite Families’ in a local community called a ‘Constellation’, supported by an experienced Carer who takes on the role of Hub Home Provider.

The Hub Home Provider is an employed team member who supports other Foster Carers by providing connection, information, training, and emotional support. The Constellation is like the extended family and the Hub Home is like a grandparent’s house that is familiar and comfortable.

Each child in the Constellation is welcomed by the Hub Home Provider for sleepovers and social events, or if there is difficulty at home and the child and/or Carers could benefit from a break. MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ also promotes ongoing meaningful relationships with parents, brothers and sisters and other family members.

If you want to find out more about MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ watch this short video!

MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™

The innovative model that supports foster and kinship carers.

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