Real Stories, Real Lives: Meet Key Worker John

“At the end of the day, being fostered provides young people with a chance to experience life with a caring and nurturing family and allows for opportunities that would not have been available to them before.”

John, Child and Youth Care Worker at Kibble

John has been a Child and Youth Care Worker within our Intensive Fostering Service (IFS) for over 11 years now, and his only regret is not doing the role sooner. As a core part of the team, John’s role is to support children and young people, alongside their foster carers, which can be integral in maintaining stability.

Before coming to Kibble, I worked in the Glasgow Fruit Market for over twenty years, but a change of circumstances meant that I left that industry. Whilst deciding where I wanted my career to take me next, I gained my coaching qualification with the Scottish Rugby Union.  I also progressed through the Scout Association and soon became the local Scout leader.

I was really enjoying working with children and young people, and so when I noticed a job advertisement to work for Kibble, I knew it was the role for me. Part of my role involves maintaining a daily routine for the young person. This can mean many things and no day is ever the same. The young people that I support often have complex and challenging behaviours as a result of previous trauma or neglect. For our young people, what may seem like a straightforward task, such as getting up in the morning, going to school or even going to bed at night can require extra effort and encouragement. 

This leads onto the most rewarding aspect of my job; it is fantastic when you see the young people turn their lives around. We play a part as their key worker, but it is themselves who play the biggest role.

We deliver a trauma-informed care approach to help them through past traumas and support them as they settle into life with their foster family. It’s great seeing them grow into amazing young adults who go on to live happy and fulfilled lives, whether that’s going to college, finding jobs they enjoy or meeting partners and developing relationships.

The most challenging aspect at the moment due to the current Covid-19 lockdown, is not being able to visit the young people and foster carers. Despite this, we are regularly checking in on the phone or via Zoom. We’ve been doing things like using Zoom to set up virtual bingo with the young people, and that allows us all to interact and have fun in a way we may not have done before. 

Foster care is so important and there is a huge shortage of foster carers, meaning that we are always looking to recruit. It takes a special kind of person to be a foster carer, but we welcome people from all walks of life.

At the end of the day, being fostered provides young people with a chance to experience life with a caring and nurturing family, and allows for opportunities that would not have been available to them before.