Make This a Life Changing Year - Kibble fostering

Make This a Life Changing Year

As we embark on a brand-new year, Foster Carers Lorraine and Martin are encouraging people to make this a truly life-changing year by fostering a child or young person with Kibble.

The couple, from South Lanarkshire, have two grown children and four grandchildren but, as empty nesters with an ambition to make a difference, they decided to look into fostering. After reaching out Kibble, the pair started the process to become foster carers and in December 2020, they welcomed Andrew* into their family at the age of six and have never looked back.

Since welcoming Andrew into their lives and family, Lorraine and Martin have found a new ‘lease of life’ as foster carers, enhanced by the support they have received from Kibble along the way.

“I’m a natural nurturer and wanted to see what I could do to help children in need of that love and support that everyone deserves. I started my research and Kibble stood out by a mile for the breadth of support they provide.

“It was a smooth and supportive process from initial home visits and training, to welcoming our first young person on a short-break basis, to eventually welcoming Andrew into our lives for the longer term and we’ve never looked back.

“It’s incredible the breakthroughs that you see every day. To see confidence building and barriers breaking down with the children and young people in our care, it’s such a rewarding experience for us as a whole family.

The Magic of Believing

Speaking just before the Christmas break, Lorraine explained how they always go ‘above and beyond’ to make Christmas time magical for their little boy, Andrew, whose experience of the season hasn’t always been a happy one.

“Before Andrew came to live with us, Christmas was just another day – he didn’t believe in Santa as he had never experienced the joy of getting presents at Christmas before. The first year he came to live with us, we told him that Santa simply didn’t know where he lived before and couldn’t find him so we’ll make sure he knows exactly where you are now. We helped him write and post a letter to Santa, and I saw a little grin spread across his wee face at the hope it may come true. We placed lots of fairy lights all around the house and sprinkled fairy dust everywhere so our house was shining bright for Santa to see where he lived.

On Christmas morning, his face was in awe and as the living room was full of presents, including gifts from previous years when Santa had been unable to find him. On the tags, they read To Andrew, I’m so glad I found you’. The day was filled with visiting family, sharing gifts, playing games with his cousins and lots and lots of cuddles. When we tucked him into bed that night I heard him say I’m sorry I didn’t believe in you Santa and I paused at how special the day had been.

“Now three years on, Andrew has never forgotten that first Christmas. We’ve established new family traditions to bring the magic of Christmas back to Andrew, from parties and pantomimes to our Christmas Eve box and every year Andrew picks a new decoration for our tree. This Christmas was a whole new experience as we headed to Spain for Christmas celebrations on the beach.

A New Lease of Life

“At only six years old, Andrew had been living with six different foster families before going to Kibble and eventually coming to live with us. We are so thankful that we made that call to find out more about fostering as we really can’t imagine life without him in our family. He loves us and we love him, he’s our boy, and even calls us Mum and Dad.

“With shared interests in football and holidays together, we’ve made fantastic memories. He’s also come on leaps and bounds when it comes to his education and we’re so proud of him. The future is bright and Andrew is looking ahead, he understands the opportunities are there for him if he works hard.  

“For anyone considering fostering, and if you have a love for children then I would say go for it. Kids bring out the fun in you. Do your own research, but in my eyes, Kibble stands out above everyone else – they offer a great range of opportunities, we get the support we need, and they are always there for you.

“It’s been a new lease of life for me and my family, and I’ll be forever grateful. We’ve had our fair share of challenges along the way – as do all families – but Kibble introduced us to a whole network of fellow foster care families too. We meet fortnightly and can discuss our shared experiences, offer advice and support one another.”

Sandy Mayhew, Director of Community Services, said: “People often think of fostering as a one-way street – adults helping children – but Lorraine and Martin are living proof that the benefits are broad and flow both ways.

“They’ve not only changed Andrew’s life for the better but have made a difference to their own lives, finding the joy that comes from supporting a young child making their way in the world.

“At Kibble we value our carers highly in line with the Promise message that ‘Scotland must hold the hands of those who hold the hand of the child’. It’s vitally important our carers are well prepared and supported to ensure young people get the best possible care.”

Kibble offers a unique innovative package for people looking to get involved with foster care, including full training, qualifications, generous fostering fees and allowances, alongside 24/7 dedicated support from our experienced fostering team.

* Young person’s name has been changed to protect identity.