Jim Theofelis who is the Executive Director of The Mockingbird Society is actually an independent voice for foster care reform in the US. He is also the provider of foster care services. The ‘Mockingbird Family Model’ of society was made for respite care and it was part of the company’s review of peer support schemes for foster carers. The guest post here written states that Jim gives further details of the model and the reason he is sure that it works well for carers and children. If your organization is a fostering service provider, foster carer or if the organization is care-experienced, we at Clements Health Care invite you to leave a comment with your own ideas about it

 

Relationship-Based Respite and The Missed Opportunity

In the interaction with the adolescents in the foster care system it was asked “what does respite mean?” On an average the response from the people was “someone needs a break from me.” In the interaction with the parents of foster p they illustrate respite as if it were some elusive gemstone that everyone talks about but very few experience. After all this each and every one know that every relationship needs safe episodes of separation either briefly or for an extended period of time.

 

While the families of intact may get respite from a weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s, foster children are on he usual sent to respite caregivers they may have never met and all this leads only to further traumatize the child. The Mockingbird Family Model (MFM) states that there is a smarter and even more humane and cheaper approach to deliver the foster care which includes Relationship-Based Respite and can also be said as RBR. The MFM mainly includes a cohort of 6-10 foster families (Constellation) in geographic proximity to a central foster home (Hub Home). On the basis of the extended family concept, the Hub Home gives the Constellation which is included with the support, training and Relationship-Based Respite. To ensure foster families and the kids which they serve is having the access to Relationship-Based Respite which at the same time is important to both the retention of high quality foster parents as well as the healthy development of the children we serve.

 

Relationship-Based Respite is something that every person expects for his own family and every one should tolerate nothing less for the children and adolescents that they always server. The maximum majority of foster parents are those people who are very exceptional and who have opened their homes and hearts to those children who are very vulnerable. The Mockingbird Family Model believes in giving the high quality support required to retain the best foster parents so they can provide the best care possible to the children in their care.