Chris Skinner
Manager Practice Advancement & Implementation - MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY™ StrIDE Team | Life Without Barriers

Chris Skinner has over 20 years experience in child protection and out of home care in both government and non-government sectors. As a graduate of the University of Newcastle in Social Science, his experience has ranged from front-line casework and operational management to the support and training of practitioners across the nation. Chris has an engaging, humorous and heartfelt approach to the topic area and is passionate about seeing children and carers being supported in effective and normative ways, that attain good outcomes for all.


Many carers express that some of their most meaningful support comes from other carers. Children and young people in care also gain from connecting with peers that share the same experience as them.

What if we could develop unique communities to harness this?

MOCKINGBIRD FAMILY is an innovative approach to structure support to foster and kinship care households through community connection. It creates an extended family community designed to support, develop and retain carers and meet the complex needs of children and young people.

This approach was developed by The Mockingbird Society (TMS) in 2004 in Washington State, USA and has expanded throughout the USA, Canada, the UK and now Australia. Research and evaluation (Rees Centre, Oxford) has shown it improves placement stability, carer retention, the social and emotional well-being of children and is cost effective.


Chris Skinner