The Mockingbird Family Model (MFM)

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

NR  — Not able to be Rated
NR  — Not able to be Rated
NR  — Not able to be Rated
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About This Program

Target Population: Children, adolescents, and foster families

For children/adolescents ages: 0 – 21

Brief Description

The MFM is a foster care service delivery model designed to improve the safety, well-being, and permanency of children, adolescents, and families in foster care. The MFM is grounded in the assumption that families with access to resources and support networks are best equipped to provide a stable, loving, and culturally supportive environment for children and adolescents.

It revolves around the concept of the MFM Constellation, which intentionally establishes a sense of extended family and community. In each MFM Constellation, six to ten families (foster, kinship, foster-to-adopt, and/or birth families) live in close proximity to a central, licensed foster or respite care family (Hub Home), whose role is to provide support. The support provided through the Hub Home includes assistance in navigating systems, peer support for children and parents, impromptu and regularly scheduled social activities, planned respite nearly 24 hours a day/7 days a week, and crisis respite as needed.

Program Goals:

The program goals of the Mockingbird Family Model (MFM) are:

  • Foster and kinship parents receive support in their roles as caregivers through readily available respite care, peer support, training, and information
  • Children and adolescents experience significantly fewer placements
  • Siblings remain together or near each other in placements and increased continuity of care
  • Children and adolescents remain connected to their culture, heritage, and spiritual affiliations
  • Children and adolescents thrive socially, emotionally, and academically with support from an ‘extended family’ network of care providers
  • Children and adolescents with a history of multiple placements have an opportunity to manage attachment issues and services through the Hub Home either to prevent crisis or to increase stabilization as well as to re-enter the placement after a crisis or runaway episode
  • Permanency is prioritized and supported, whether through reunification, adoption, guardianship, or connection with a chosen family
  • Biological families can participate in the MFM Constellation micro-community, with the goal of rebuilding and/or increasing the strength of family bonds, skill development, and future relationships
  • Children and adolescents build lasting peer and community connections which serve as a protective factor mitigating trauma impact
  • System navigation with the help of readily available, appropriate, and meaningful accessory services provided by or coordinated through the Hub Home and/or Host Agency. These include mental health counseling, tutoring and homework support, and social and recreational activities

Contact Information

Degale Cooper, MSW
Title: Director of Family Programs
Agency/Affiliation: The Mockingbird Society
Phone: (206) 407-2133
Fax: (206) 323-1003

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: October 2013

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: August 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: May 2012