Ruby is an Operations Manager who oversees the day-to-day running of two of Kibble’s residential care homes. She ensures the young people are safe, supported and get the highest level of care. For Ruby, working at Kibble is not a job, it’s a vocation and one that she gives her heart and soul to.
Can you tell us about your role at Kibble?
As an Operations Manager, I take more of an overview of the services, ensuring Service Managers are well supported and able to meet the needs of the kids. I also ensure the children are well supported and we’re meeting their daily needs. I’ll do supervision with staff, ensure care plans are up-to-date and work as part of a multi-disciplinary team consisting of families, teachers and psychologists to provide the best outcomes for the kids.
I am also the child protection lead at Kibble, responsible for the safety of the children. Not one to sit still, I am currently studying for a PHD which looks at transitions from adolescence to adulthood.
What did you do before Kibble?
I’ve had a number of roles – I’ve been a single parent raising my children, I’ve worked in pubs, and was a house parent for a local authority children’s home. Following this, I went on to university to study social work.
I began working at Kibble on a sessional basis and then moved to part-time as I was studying and bringing up my kids. I graduated in 1998 and began working at Kibble full-time.
How long have you worked at Kibble?
I started my career at Kibble in 1996 as a part-time worker, then moved into full time employment in 1998. My first role here was on a project to help young people prepare for leaving care and onto independent living. This was an innovative project at the time and we conducted research internationally, as well as developing an international resource to help young people leaving care. Following this, I worked as part of a team to set up Kibble’s first community house.
What made you want to work for Kibble?
As a teenager I knew I wanted to get into social work. I was wild and unruly as a teen and wanted to go on to work with young people who had faced difficulties in their past and try to make a difference. I see the kids at Kibble like my own – I really care about them and want to help them find and develop their strengths.
What is the best thing about your job?
Can I really only name one thing? I am able to get involved in lots of different projects! I’m on the fostering panel and Kibble’s health and wellbeing group to name a couple. The positive feedback we get on how well the kids are doing makes the role worthwhile and I know we’re really able to make a difference.
Tell us a defining moment/story from your time at Kibble
I was supporting a child who had faced a difficult past and we spent a lot of time supporting him, and helping him feel safe. He was often verbally aggressive towards me, finding things to say that could be hurtful. I cared about him, and stuck by him and then one day as I walked down the high street, he came out of a shop and ran up to me and gave me a great big hug. He called me a year after he left Kibble to say he was sorry and he didn’t mean any of it – I told him that it was okay, I knew he didn’t mean it and I was so touched that he called.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of joining Kibble?
You need to be aspirational and want the best for the kids. If we don’t have hope for them for the future, we won’t be able to support them towards this right now.
Complete the following statement – “Kibble Inspires…”
#KibbleInspires me to be the best worker I can be so I can achieve the best for my kids and staff.