Motherwell man who works in foster care speaks out about his role in helping others

A Motherwell man has become the ‘face’ of a charity that helps vulnerable youngsters, because he has improved the life chances of many children within the organisation for nine years.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 9:21 am
Updated Monday, 31st May 2021, 9:21 am
Mark Pope
Mark Pope

Mark Pope (32) values his role within Kibble’s Intensive Fostering Service so highly, that he hopes to foster when his own daughter grows up.

The former pupil of Dalziel High School initially joined the organisation as part of a university placement, while studying Community Education at the University of Strathclyde.

Securing a full-time position on completion of his degree, Mark soon moved to support the children and young people within the Intensive Fostering Service, where he believed his education would be best utilised.

Reflecting on his role as a Child and Youth Care Worker during Foster Care Fortnight, Mark said: “As key workers, our focus is on the wellbeing of the young people, and Kibble allows us the autonomy to tailor our approach to each individual.

“I’ve supported a range of young people during my time at Kibble, with a few in particular for an extended period time. I feel like I’m a big part of their lives, seeing them twice a week.

"It can take time to gain their trust and bring them onside, as many of our young people have had a tough start to life. However, the relationships that we build are the highlight of my job, even though they might still joke that they see us way too often.

“We also strive to offer 24/7 support to the foster carers. It is a very tight-knit relationship between Kibble, social care and the fostering family. There are a lot more young people in need of fostering after the financial and emotional strains of lockdown.

"There is space for almost anyone to become a carer. I can think of so many people who would make a great foster carer.

"Someone who is genuine, understanding; just a normal person who can understand that a young person’s upbringing is due to family circumstances, and someone who can offer a fresh start.

"There are so many different, diverse people out there who could foster and who would be brilliant at it.”

Find out more about Kibble’s Intensive Fostering Service by visiting: https://www.kibble.org/services/intensive-fostering/