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Devon’s Mockingbird pilot celebrates first birthday

Mockingbird families at a firework display celebrating the first birthday

Our South Devon Mockingbird constellation has celebrated its first birthday with a trip to the fireworks and a reflection on how the first year has gone.  

Mockingbird, 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.

The model nurtures the relationships between children, young people and foster families supporting them to build a resilient and caring community.

Led by a hub home carer and liaison worker, the constellation community offers vital peer support and guidance alongside social activities and sleepovers to strengthen relationships and permanence.

We caught up with Sarah Whitby, and asked her about how she’ found the first year’s found her first year as Hub Home Carer for South Devon.  

“For me personally it has been a privilege to build trusting safe strong relationships with carers who open up when they are at their most vulnerable and dysregulated states.  

My most rewarding part of being a Hub Home Carer (HHC) has been stepping in and supporting satellite families both practically and emotionally. At times of crisis and where there has been a risk of placement breakdown and when no other services or professionals have been available to help, we have been able to.  

“Getting to know all the Children and Young People in our constellation has been a highlight; getting to know them as individuals, building the relationship at their pace, letting them know we are holding them in mind when they are not with us, and becoming a significant adult in their lives.  

“Finally, one of the greatest parts has been creating memories together – I’ve taken myself out of my comfort zone to make memories together with the whole constellation – for example zip wiring and taking part in the mud bear trail!” 

Sarah smiling at the camera, posing next to a bunch of flowers, a cake decorated with fruit, and a champagne bottle
Sarah Whitby, Hub Home Carer for South Devon

Kate is one of our satellite carers in the constellation, and she has added: 

“I feel like I have gained a whole new family with the continuous support and love shown by all involved. We have been lucky enough to have had some great events and days out where we have all made some unbreakable bonds. This doesn’t just include myself and the boys, but my own birth children as well. We have all made some amazing memories that will last a lifetime for sure.”  

Nikki, another of our satellite carers says:

“Mockingbird has been a huge support to me over the past year. It is like having a second family that understands any difficulties that either myself or my foster son face and they go above and beyond to help us both. I question if I would still be fostering without the support from Mockingbird.” 

If you are a foster carer in Devon and would like to find out more about Mockingbird in your area, please contact Mockingbird Manager Cathy Dickson at

Read more about Mockingbird in Devon.