Some great reasons to look into Foster Caring

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Have you ever thought about Foster Caring? Here are some great reasons to look into it!

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Making a difference

Providing a safe and nurturing home for a child, gives you the opportunity to create a warm and positive experience for children who come into your care. Our foster carers say that one of the most rewarding aspects of being a carer is to see the growth in the children in areas of belonging, mastery, independence and generosity.


Opportunities for making positive social impact

We all know there are many within our communities struggling with homelessness, family violence, drug addictions, trauma and disadvantage, which in turn affects children. Becoming a carer is a practical way to positively impact families within our community.


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Sharing your good fortune

Some of us are fortunate to have resources that we can share with others. This isn’t just monetary resources, other things including time, education, life skills, your friendship network and more. All these things can contribute positively to a child and can have a profound impact on their life and self-esteem.


You have an empty nest

Many parents get to the point where their kids have grown up and moved out but they feel like they still have something to give. If you are an empty nester, with the stability, experience and knowledge of having parented your own children and feel this way, fostering might be for you. The energy, joy and love that comes from caring for children is immense and doesn’t need to end when yours have grown up and left home!


You relish a challenge

All children come with their own challenges and these are unique to each child’s personality. Caring for children brings the rewarding challenge of learning about their individual needs and history. As a carer, you will work closely with our team in the Permanency Support Program to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children.


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You want to build and maintain connections

Connections you make with children placed in your care often endure for a long time, if not for life. Many carers speak fondly of the memories and long-lasting connections they have made with the children they have cared for.


You want to help build resilience

We’ve all experienced difficult life experiences that have helped us build resilience and strengths. Our attitude of gratitude in overcoming our difficulties can motivate us to want to help others in their difficult times.


Many children need different types of care

There is a desperate shortage of carers in our community. There are increasing numbers of children who require emergency, respite, short and long-term care for many reasons.  However, we often do not have enough carers to provide these children with a stable, loving and supportive home, while they are unable to live with their birth family.


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If you feel that you might want to explore more about what it means to be a foster carer or find out more information…

Contact us.

Related Tags: Foster Carer Training Tweed Heads

New wellness area for our staff

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As a Foster Care agency, our staff deal with lots of highs and lows in their work, and every day can bring new stresses which can sometimes be extreme.

We felt it was necessary to provide our staff a wellness area, which will give them a welcoming space with fresh air and greenery to help balance the stresses of day to day roles each undertake in this challenging field.🌿

The area is set up on our lovely balcony space at our offices at 75 Main Street, Alstonville. It also looks out over the balcony-clad roofs of the historical town – great for taking it all in, with a few breaths and some breathing space. As our work is full of a lot of emotions from all parties, a calm place to rest is very important.

We value all our wonderful staff very much and appreciate the work they do every day. Thank you all!

Your Youth Care team.
Related Tags: Foster Care Lismore

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Youth Care cinema afternoon!

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Youth Care UPA recently provided a movie afternoon for our Carers, and some of the young people in our program, to see Instant Family – a film they could really relate to!

Instant Family is a film about Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) who decide to start a family, and they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15-year-old girl (Isabela Moner), they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must try to learn the ropes of ‘instant parenthood’ in the hopes of becoming a family. INSTANT FAMILY is inspired by the real events from the life of writer/director Sean Anders and also stars Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro, and Margo Martindale.

There was laughter and tears in the movie as the Carers saw a lot of their own stories unfold on-screen – a great afternoon overall and something we look forward to doing again.

The Youth Care team.

Related Tags: Foster Care Lismore, Foster Care Byron Bay




Family Fun Day

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Foster Care Week was held recently and to celebrate, UPA Youth Care were part of a team that organised a Family Fun Day at the Alstonville Leisure Centre.

During Foster Care Week, five foster care agencies, including Family and Community Services worked together to produce a great day full of activities including jumping castles, live performances, a photo booth, hip hop workshops, a reptile display and arts and crafts to name a few.

A special art project facilitated by our carer and mentor Karma Barnes was the highlight. Everyone who attended on the day were asked to paint a heart and all the hearts were glued to five big hearts that are now displayed in each of the five agencies.

Attendees also had the chance to participate in this mural creation (see images) which turned out very well indeed!

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Youth Care UPA were so happy to be a part of this very special day, a big thank you to our wonderful carers for the incredible work they do.

Related Tags: Foster Carer Training Tweed Heads

Foster Care Information Evening

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Have you ever thought about Foster Caring?

Becoming a Foster Carer can be a very rewarding journey. By providing a stable, caring family environment for a child or young person you can make a very positive difference to not only the child, but their birth family, and to the world.

Youth Care UPA often receive enquiries around the different types of Foster Care available, how you become a Foster Carer and the training involved, so we hold regular information evenings.

Attendees are able to find out more about Youth Care UPA, the support and services we offer, what it means to be a Foster Carer (both temporary and permanent), and how you can train to be a Carer.

The evenings are hosted by Aiden Thomas, Youth Care UPA’s Program Manager. Aiden also dedicates some time to a Q&A, so you can ask him your questions and learn from others too.

Anyone who is interested in temporary (from 1 weekend to 6 weeks) or permanent Foster Caring is encouraged to attend one of our no obligation information evenings.

Our next Information Evening will be held on Tuesday the 28th of January, 2020: 

Date: 28th January 2020

Time: 6pm - 7pm

Venue: Youth Care UPA, Shop 9/75 Main St, Alstonville NSW 2477

To express your interest, please call our team on 02 6620 4400.

Related Tag: Foster Carer Training Alstonville

Youth Care Christmas Party

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The Youth Care UPA team were delighted to hold our annual Christmas Party Celebration on December 3rd at the Alstonville Leisure Centre.

In attendance were the children, the carers, support staff, some birth families, and the Youth Care UPA team too of course. We were really happy with the turn out and everyone had such a great day full of activities and fun to kick off the holiday season.

The guest of honour was of course Santa Claus himself, he showed up to deliver presents and cheer, but that wasn’t the only highlight. There was an awesome Tug-of-War that everyone really got into, there was a face painter, an inflatable water slide, laser skirmish, a jumping castle and a craft table!

youth care picture 510x504 - Youth Care Christmas PartyWe had a canvas ready with a big tree painted on it, and carers and children participated in the art by creating the leaves using their hand prints. It turned out beautifully and currently adorns our office wall.

youth care christmas present 560x504 - Youth Care Christmas PartyAnother great moment was when all of the carers were gifted succulent plants from their kids that said “thanks for helping me grow”, really moving to see.

We want to give a huge thanks to everyone that organised and attended. We are looking forward to the new year and growing more with you all already.

As usual, we will all be available over the Christmas & New Year period, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Happy Holidays All,
The Youth Care UPA team.

Related Tag: Foster Care Byron Bay

A day to remember


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.

Related Tag: Foster Carer Byron Bay

UPA Youth Care Celebrate 20 Years of helping our Young People


UPA Youth Care recently held a fantastic dinner and entertainment night to celebrate and honour the foster carers in our area who do amazing work every day.

On the night, 59 adults and 34 children and young people attended, feasting on a beautiful meal and enjoying activities and live music.

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

“It is so important to recognise the amazing work and support the carers provide to the foster children,” said Aiden. “It’s a great opportunity to get together and showcase the work everybody does, and to connect with other likeminded people.”

It is estimated that there are now 43,000 children in out-of-home care in Australia, and that’s more than doubled since 1990. Unfortunately, due to laws and regulations that currently seriously limit adoption numbers (just 278 children were adopted in Australia last year), it’s more important than ever that there are willing and able carers who are available to protect these children and give them a foster home.

Aiden hopes that UPA Youth Care will be able to achieve their goal of recruiting a further fifty carer households, and then provide care to 100 children and young people this coming year.

UPA Youth Care commenced operations twenty years ago with Jeff McDonald as Program Manager (Jeff announced his upcoming retirement at the dinner), with a contract from the department for just 9.23 children. Back then, they operated with just two staff members and the name, “Kids in Care”.

This twentieth year of operation sees UPA Youth Care with an agreement from the department for 68 young people and 13 staff.

“When UPA Youth Care first began, we were the first non-government Foster Care Agency on the Far North Coast. When accreditation of agencies was first legislated, we were the first agency on the Far North Coast and the seventh in the state to achieve this outcome. We were also the first agency in the state to achieve our latest accreditation under new standards,” said Aiden.

“This is because we put the children at the centre of everything we do. Always. We want to help them be all they can be and that’s our message to anyone considering becoming a Carer. It can be both a challenging and highly rewarding experience, and can change somebody’s entire world.”

UPA Youth Care consider their Carers and children ‘family’ and that’s why they hold events, such as the recent Carer’s dinner, to bring everyone together in a setting and atmosphere that’s different, and more relaxed than usual.

Related Tag: The Foster Care Agency Lismore