#KibbleInspires Kirsti - Kibble: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity
Posted: January 20, 2020

SCM Manager Kirsti was previously a hospital nursing assistant in a psychiatry ward and changed her career path because she wanted to make a difference to young people before they required adult services.

What did you do before Kibble?

Previously I was a nursing assistant in the acute psychiatry ward within the Royal Alexandria Hospital. Part of my role was to attend to patients and involved personal care, providing emotional support and helping them return to their community. I worked at the hospital for 15 years.

My previous job as a nursing assistant crossed over with starting at Kibble as I did shifts for both that fitted around childcare for my 2 children. 

How long have you worked at Kibble?

I have worked at Kibble for 17 years. Initially I started as a sessional worker to see if I enjoyed it and if the organisation and I were a good fit.

I did not have huge amount of experience working with teenagers, but I quickly realised if I could connect with young people and build meaningful, trustworthy relationships everything else could work. It is possible to learn the correct processes and paperwork but the ability to develop strong bonds with the young people is vital.

I had no formal qualifications before coming to Kibble and now I am studying an MSC in Residential Childcare. I have progressed my career at Kibble from a Sessional Worker to Service Manager in a number of residential care houses, to a Duty Manager before becoming the SCM (Safe Crisis Management) Manager.

What made you want to work for Kibble?

I wanted a change and started looking out for a new job that still involved working with people every day. I was determined to make a difference to the lives of children and young people before they reached the stage of adult services. I believed that early intervention was critical.

I had heard about Kibble as I lived nearby the main campus and I was interested in starting a career with the organisation.

Can you give us an overview of your role at Kibble and what area you work in? Please explain about the service?

I manage a department that delivers initial training for new staff coming to Kibble. The training shows staff how to manage a crisis situation with a young person safely and how to avoid escalating the circumstance further.

The training focuses on working in the space of the young people and teaching staff that relationships are key. It is about influencing the working practice to help young people feel safe and supported. The course includes the following factors: safety, reality, professionalism, liability and creating a culture of care.

What is the best thing about working in Kibble/tell us one thing you love about your job?

I love my job because I enjoy spending time with the young people and sharing in their life experience. My role is invaluable as the training helps staff to cope safely with potentially challenging situations.

Can you share a defining moment or story about your time at Kibble?

I am lucky that I have several defining moments that are very special to me. I remember a young person who had a chaotic lifestyle and struggled with daily tasks. We went to Oban on a trip and took the children on a Sea-fari, and to our amazement we spotted a dolphin. The young person and I both turned and saw the dolphin at the same time, then locked eyes on one another in disbelief at the real-life beauty we had witnessed. We shared this lovely moment and there was a strong feeling of trust. We were both emotional, which perhaps showed the vulnerability in us both.

I have another special memory about a young boy who was extremely shy and had low self-esteem and self-worth. When he first came to Kibble, he was anxious about walking from his care house to school assembly and would refuse to go. We took small steps and got him outside the assembly hall, and then eventually we walked in.  He was a keen drummer and we managed to get him to join the Kibble band. One day at a school show he walked in as the others in the band were playing – the children stopped playing and gave him a hero entrance as he took to his seat to start playing. I was so proud and emotional at that moment about how much he had achieved.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of joining Kibble?

Don’t forget that kids are kids. You have an opportunity to make a difference. Allow yourself to learn from them and be a part of their world – don’t make them come into yours. Every opportunity is a chance to learn.

Please complete the following statement using one word – “Kibble Inspires…”

#KibbleInspires… Hope, relationships and futures.

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