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!
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!
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.
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!
We 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.
Another 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.
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.
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