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World Social Work Day: Celebrating our Social Workers

Mockingbird, Support,


Foster Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council are celebrating our own dedicated social workers this World Social Work Day 2022 on 15 March.


The event celebrates the social work profession and its contribution across the world. This year focuses on the theme: ´Co-building a New Eco-Social World: Leaving No One Behind´. The theme presents a vision and action plan to create new global values, policies and practices that develop trust, security and confidence for all people and the sustainability of the planet. World Social Work Day 2022 will be an opportunity for the social work profession to engage all social work networks and the community they work within to make contributions to the values and principles which enable all people to have their dignity respected through shared futures.


Vicky Laybourne, our Mockingbird liaison social worker, has been instrumental to the success of the programme since the launch of its first ‘constellation’ in January 2021: “I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to be the mockingbird team leader and I love it.  I work with some utterly fabulous carers, children and social workers. I truly feel so lucky!”


Foster Portsmouth are the south coast pioneers of the Mockingbird Programme. The award-winning foster care model comprises of a ‘constellation’ of up to ten ‘satellite’ fostering households, at the heart of which a ‘hub’ carer offers vital peer support, respite care and social activities, all of which strengthen relationships and provide support similar to that of an extended family.


Vicky, who spent a number of years in the locality team before taking up the Mockingbird role, recently reported: “I moved to fostering from a locality team where I often worked with foster carers in a child’s social worker capacity. I hadn’t appreciated until I moved to the Fostering team the amazing work foster carers do. Their resilience blows me away. I also hadn’t truly appreciated the work supervising social workers do in order to support those carers and the children.”


“With the Mockingbird programme we have managed to support placement stability, providing children with continuity of care. They’ve built friendships, achieved improved educational outcomes and benefited from the support of other positive adults and family time contact with birth families with the support of the hub carer.”


Vicky continued, “The support offered has positively impacted foster carer retention and normalised care for children though family time and lots of fun activities, reflective sessions and training for foster carers in their constellation which helps to build relationships.”


42 children and young people in foster care and their foster carers in Portsmouth have benefited from being part of the programme which, despite being launched during the pandemic, has already successfully minimised placement disruption and built positive links with other families, as well as birth families where it is possible.


Vicky, who has enjoyed the challenge of building on the initial implementation work that had taken place before she took up the role, has ensured the cost-effective, sustainable model of foster care has gone from strength to strength over the past 12 months and managed the launch of a further two constellations benefiting Portsmouth’s vulnerable children and young people.


The council welcomes all enquiries about fostering. This could be a short or long term placement for a child or siblings until they’re ready to live independently or be reunited with family, support for unaccompanied minors or children with a disability, supported lodgings to develop their independent living skills, a parent and baby placement, or respite care.


Anyone aged 21+ with a spare bedroom could foster with Foster Portsmouth regardless of their age, gender, faith, ethnicity, sexuality, marital or work status, or whether they rent or own their own home. Our foster carers receive excellent, local training and 24/7 assistance, including through our mentoring scheme and the Mockingbird Programme, and competitive fees and allowances.


To enquire about fostering with Foster Portsmouth, or to arrange a 1:1 with one of our experienced team or existing foster carers, please fill in our contact form below, call 023 9283 4071 or email

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