On Sunday the 27th of August, Youth Care UPA celebrated 20 years of service providing out of home care to children and young people on the North Coast with a day full of activities and fun. The special event which included a lunch and entertainment was held at Alstonville Showground.
Jeff McDonald, Program Manager (who has been with Youth Care UPA since the beginning when it was called Kids in Care) organised the event with the help of the dedicated Youth Care team.
“We really wanted to thank anyone who had been involved with our service, whatever their role, over the past two decades”, said Mr McDonald.
Two hundred people attended the milestone event. Guests were kids with their foster families, children of the foster families, staff both current and past of Youth Care UPA, local politicians – The Hon Thomas George Member for Lismore and Tamara Smith Greens Member for Ballina, a representative from FaCS, and many more.
“We were lucky enough to have the first ever young person we had in foster care attend,” said Mr McDonald.
“The Massey Brothers provided music, and Horace Bevan was MC,” said Mr McDonald of the entertainment lineup, “There was a BBQ lunch catered for by the Lions Club of Alstonville – so a big thanks to them, and there were jumping castles, rides, farm animals and a craft table for kids.”
“When we started the general feeling was that we probably wouldn’t be around for the long term. The battles we have had to fight just to maintain our presence in the sector right from the beginning and to achieve what we have and to be placed where we are now certainly needed celebrating.”
The next steps for Youth Care UPA moving forward are to strive for more growth to be able to provide a better future for the children and young people in the program.
“We will do this with always keeping the best interest of the children and young people as our motivating factor,” said Mr McDonald.