About Us

About UPA
Youth Care


Join the team

Youth Care Services is seeking a Caseworker to join our dynamic team to cover a 13-Month Maternity leave. You can view find more details on the available position here and contact reception@youthcareupa.org to obtain a position description. Applications close Friday 7 September 2019.

Youth Care UPA is a program of the UPA Far North Coast to provide a secure, safe and caring alternate living arrangement for those young people who cannot or choose not to live with their natural families.

It is our mission to provide an efficient and effective out of home care which empowers young people, and creates opportunities for their future to enhance their quality of life.This will be achieved in collaboration with the young person, their family and other relevant people.

Youth Care UPA plans for quality outcomes, while providing outreach and support to young people with identified needs.

We are also one of the only organisations in the field to work closely with the child’s birth family, facilitating change so as to address the cause of problems and work toward a positive outcome for all involved.

If you know a child at risk, please contact the Community Services Help Line on 13 21 11.

Following the release of the Usher Report in 1992, which recommended the restructure of out-of-home services, there was a progressive move towards the placement of children within their own communities, in a family setting, rather than group homes or residential services.

UPA worked with the Department and other non-government agencies in the development of an overall plan for service models of care for children.

By 1997 the UPA’s Sunnylands Children’s Home had closed and funding was sought for the implementation of the new service, Kids in Care. The current name, Youth Care UPA, evolved from a Strategic Planning meeting in 2003, when at that time, children and young people were consulted about the name Kids in Care.

The children and young people decided that the change of name to Youth Care UPA reflects the service we provide to them (children and young people). Furthermore, the name change acknowledges the contribution, which UPA makes to the program. 

Aiden Thomas
Program Manager for UPA Youth Care Services. His work with Indigenous youth earned him Kids in Community award for Mentoring at risk youth. Aiden has worked in the Community Services Field for 20 years, in many and varied roles including Being a Foster Carer for 5 years.

Aiden is impassioned about working with the most vulnerable (and valuable) members of our Community ‘the Children’. Through a Person Centred, Trauma informed & Attachment rich model of care, support Children & Young People in reaching their full potential. When Aiden is not out saving the world he is spending time with his wife and 5 Boys.

Aiden can be contacted via athomas@youthcareupa.org and on (02) 6628 1255.

Tracey Anderssen
Has worked in the Community Services sector for over 15 years and is currently Youth Care Services Service Coordinator. Tracey began her career with Youth Care in April 2009 as a caseworker. Tracey’s qualifications include a Diploma in Community Services and Cert IV in Training and Assessment. 

Tracey is passionate about providing children and young people with opportunities to help them reach their life’s potential. Tracey enjoys working within a team of caseworkers and educational and health professionals who all have the same goal in mind. 

Tracey enjoys the beautiful, natural environments that can be found on the Far North Coast and can be found relaxing on the magnificent beaches of Byron Bay. If you can’t find her on the beach you can contact Tracey at Youth Care Services, UPA via email at tanderssen@youthcareupa.org or by contacting the Youth Care Services office on (02) 6628 1255.

Louise Lama
Is Carer Liaison for Youth Care Services, a role dedicated to the recruitment, training, assessment and support of foster Carers. She is passionate about recruiting foster carers who have the capacity for empathic, reflective and insightful practice in their caring role to meet and support the complex needs of the children and young people in our care. 

Louise joined Youth Care UPA in March 2013 while completing her Diploma of Community Services. Originally employed in an administrative capacity to support the Program Manager with the expansion of the service, Louise quickly identified a growing need for the recruitment, development and support of quality foster carer, to ensure positive outcomes for our kids. 

Louise’s career with UPA has spanned over 15 years, working originally in HR and financial administration before joining the Youth Care team. She has lived and worked in northern NSW for over 20 years following a sea-change long before the phrase was coined, chasing the dream of living and working in paradise. 

Louise can be contacted at Youth Care Service, via email louisel@youthcareupa.org or by phone at the office on (02) 6620 4400 or mobile phone, 0419121388. 

Lana Johnson
Joined Youth Care Services UPA in September 2016 as a Caseworker. Lana has over 15 years experienced working in a variety of settings and with a diverse rang of clients. Before joining the Community Service sector Lana was employed in the government and private sector in project and administrative capacities, mainly based in Brisbane, Queensland. 

Lana is a compassionate, loving wife and mother of three children; her family is her greatest acheivement to date. Lana is dedicated and passionate about the protection of children and young people and is focussed on supporting foster carers and birth families to create positive environments for change for children and young people who have experienced early childhood trauma.

Lana is incredibly grateful to be a member of the Youth Care Services UPA team. Having an opportunity to work along side a team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who are community is the highlight of her career. 

Lana can be contracted at Youth Care Services UPA, via email at ljohnson@youthcareupa.org or by contracting the Youth Care Services office on (02) 6620 4400.

Rachael Ray
Joined Youth Care Services UPA in December 2014, employed in the role of Caseworker. With over 3 years experience in client and community service roles, Rachael has been a welcome addition to the Youth Care team.

Prior to joining Youth Care Rachael worked as an Employment Consultant and then an Accounts Manager in the Employment Services sector. Rachael also has prior experience and training in aged care and nursing fields. 

Rachael recently completed her Diploma of Community Services and Case Management. Organisation and her experience in working with a wide demographic of people are Rachael’s strengths. 

Rachael loves travelling and exploring new places and is always planning her next trip away. She appreciates the opportunity to work alongside the great staff in the Youth Care team, who ate able to make her smile and laugh every day.

Rachael can be contacted at Youth Care Services, UPA via email at rreay@youthcareupa.org or by contracting the youth Care Services office on (02) 6628 1255. 

Sam Gilfillan
Is passionate about working with and supporting young people, and has been doing so in various roles over the past seventeen years. He has now been a caseworker at Youth Care Services UPA since 2012 where he enjoys working with some fantastic young people and their carers. Sam holds a Diploma in Community Services and is a few units off completing his Bachelor of Social Science.

Outside work these days he is gladly consumed by his new son, but as time passes he will be seen, albeit with a new sidekick, resurrecting his passion in surfing, making furniture and exploring the great outdoors.

You can reach Sam at samg@youthcareupa.org.

Sandy Fairfull
Commenced work at Youth Care UPA in 2013 while studying the Diploma of Community Services, initially employed as a Contact Supervisor before commencing work as a Caseworker on completion of her studies. 

It was during this time as a caseworker that Sandy developed a passion for understanding the emotional and behavioural challenges of children and young people in out of home care. It was natural progression for Sandy when she was successful in securing the position of Behavioural Practitioner in September 2016.

Prior to working in the Community Services sector Sandy worked as a Registered Nurse in both general and mental health settings, this background has supported her growth into her more clinical role.

Sandy has raised three beautiful children that she could not be more proud of and has had the luxury of doing so on the beautiful North Coast of NSW. 

Sandy can be contacted at Youth Care UPA via email at sfairful@youthcareupa.org or by contacting Youth Care Services office on (02) 6222 8125.

Cathy Turner
Joined Youth Care Services UPA in September 2016 employed in the role of Administration Officer. With over 20 years of experience in business Administration roles Cathy has been a welcome addition to Youth Care Services.

Prior to joining Youth Care Services UPA, Cathy spent many years in the Education Industry honing her administrative skills. Organisation and a helpful friendly attitude are her specialties.

Cathy is a highly family orientated wife, mother and grandmother of three beautiful children. She is passionate about providing a quality administrative service within Youth Care believing the service is highly valuable to our community and children. 

She is very proud to be a team member of a highly engaged, community-focused organisation having the opportunity to contribute to the well-being and care of the most precious gift of all, children.

Cathy can be contacted at Youth Care Services, UPA via email at cturner@youthcareupa.org or by contacting the Youth Care Services office on (02) 6620 4400.

Kylie Johnston
Joined Youth Care Services UPA in September 2016 employment in the role of a Caseworker. Kylie works with a passionate and energetic approach to promote and support positive community and family interactions.

Prior to joining Youth Care Services Kylie spent many years working with children in various settings with qualifications in business, children services & Employment services Kylie is highly organised with the ability to relate & respond to various community needs. Kylie is now working towards completing a Diploma in Community Services and Case Management.

As a mother Kylie is aware of and has specific interest in the needs of children and Young people and their sense of well-being. Both professional & empathic, kylie enthusiastically undertakes her role with the intent to provide the best possible outcomes for her clients.

Kylie can be contacted at Youth Care UPA Services, via email at kjohnston@youthcareupa.org or by contacting the Youth Care Services office on (02) 6620 4400.

Hellen Hospers
Joined Youth Care Services UPA in November 2016 employed in the role of caseworker. Helen has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of New England. She completed a thousand hours of her social work placement between Juvenile Justice and Community Health in the Northern Rivers. She has worked in Out of Home Care since 2015 as a Caseworker. 

Hellen has a passion for the area of Child Protection and ensuring that children are given all the opportunities they deserve and more. She has a desire to continue to work within the Out of Home Care Sector to ensure children are growing in a safe environments, developing strong personal identity and positive birth family relationships. 

Hellen can be contacted at Youth Care Services UPA via email at hhospers@youthcareupa.org or by contacting the Youth Care Services office on (0 2) 6620 4400.