Our People.  Our Commitment.

Amanda

Working as a Case Manager with Alternate Care gives me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and young people. We provide a safe and nurturing home environment for some of society’s most disadvantaged young people, and give them the opportunity to not only heal from their past, but grow as a person with the confidence that the future looks brighter.

Sarah

I have been working at Alternate care for over three years as a Youth worker.

Many children have entered the service bewildered, afraid of the unknown and emotionally torn.

I have seen the positive changes take place in many children predominantly in our Emergency Response Service houses that offer safety, genuine care and support to encourage healthy environments in order for them to thrive as happy individuals.

Alternate Care base their service on establishing a safe environment, building a rapport with, and empowering the child through positive  encouragement and consistently providing a structured routine supported by well-trained culturally sensitive Youth workers.

Takaivaine
(Taki)

I was born in Rakahanga, one of the 15 islands in the Cook Islands.

I have cultural and family ties to Polynesia, Cook Islands, Tahiti and Scotland. English is my fifth language and I am fluent in Cook Islands  and Maori.

I have been active with Cook Islands and Polynesian social groups through dance and music for many years and was involved with teaching Cook Islands dancing and showcasing the Sound of the Polynesian dancing group at various hotels and corporate functions throughout Cairns and region.

In 1999, my husband and I were sent as Cook Islands cultural tutors to Wujal Wujal and Hopevale to showcase our Cook Islands culture by Queensland Education. I have worked with the Cairns Police and Education Department and have completed at the Cairns TAFE a Certificate 3 in Community and Youth.

I work as a  fulltime Team Leader for Alternate Care.  This has given me the opportunity to give back to this generation the skills I’ve been taught and has also encouraged me to continuously learn the ever changing cultures that are present here in Cairns and its surrounding communities.

I have also undertaken a number of training courses through Alternate Care including but not limited to Senior First Aid, Autism, `What’s going on in the brain’, Understanding Discrimination Law, Cultural Awareness, Dealing with Challenging  Behaviour  followed by Dealing with Positive Behaviour.

George

I was born in Fallsbury, South Africa (formerly South Africa now Zimbabwe).  I left Africa when 5 yrs old and travelled through many countries in Europe and then settled in the Cook Islands when I was 9 yrs old.  I moved to Australia in 2000.

My cultural background is Scottish, Irish, New Zealand and Cook Islands.

Cook Island Polynesian is my first language and English is my second language.

I always wanted a big family and grew up with a big family.  After our 4th child, my wife couldn’t have any more, so we decided that we wanted to be foster carers.  I grew up with a hard life so we decided that we would find a child that needs a second chance.

Alternate Care is a very hands on organisation and are in constant contact.  Alternate Care  provides  me with assistance and training  constantly.  We find we get a lot of direction and assistance from Alternate Care. The training courses I have completed are: Cultural Awareness, Why kids do what they do and Foster Modules 1 – 4.

By being a Foster Carer I find that I can ensure that the children have more integration with Indigenous people so that they can retain and maintain their culture.

The improvements in the children has been in all aspects of their lives particularly their eating habits and general well being, they also feel safe in the home environment and because of this their general attitudes and behavior has majorly improved.

Darren

I was born in Adelaide and raised in Cairns from the age of 4 years old.

My cultural background is Scottish and my first language is English.

I am a trained personal trainer however Foster Caring is something I have always been interested in and wanted to do. 

With only working casually, I had the spare time and with my wife working full time, we found ourselves in a position to become Foster Carers . We looked into a few different  options and felt most comfortable with Alternate Care as they had more difficult children that were more in need of urgent care.

Very rewarding.  Just feels like you are out there helping kids that need help. I would like to continue assisting the children and helping them move forward with their schooling.

My training has consisted of Senior First Aid, Dealing with Children with Autism , Foster Carer Module  7, Matters of Concern , Policies & Procedures , Positive Behaviour Support Policy  and Restraint Training .

The outcomes I am finding are that the children’s schooling  is going ahead in leaps and bounds, handwriting very neat and spelling is fabulous!  Major improvement in house manners and behavior.  Major health improvements  as the children are making healthier choices with the eating.

Anastasia

I was born in Brisbane and raised in Cairns.

My cultural background  is an interesting combination of Jamaican, Malay, Negro, Rotama Island and Torres Strait Islander.

I am fluent in English, Badu Island and Creole.

I have worked with Alternate Care since July 2008 as a Care Worker, I find that my daily interaction with the indigenous children from communities `keeps me on my toes’ in a challenging and satisfying way - because of their language, cultural backgrounds and each child’s individual needs.  I find the diversity of the children’s family backgrounds interesting on a daily basis as I am always learning new things about each of the children and what makes them tick! I feel that by building one on one relationships’ with the children, this gives them the opportunity to come to me first.

I enjoy being part of the Alternate Care team as the support and mentoring I receive is ongoing and I feel comfortable in my work environment.  I also feel able to relay my feelings, opinions and ideas openly to my supervisors and feel that the feedback I receive is taken on board. I truly benefit from the level of feedback as well as constant communication between my supervisors and co-workers which is encouraged at Alternate Care at all times.

The training that I’ve received through Alternate Care has been hugely beneficial and made me feel more confident about my work on a daily basis. Some of the courses I’ve completed are Policies and Procedures, Senior First Aid, Trauma and Attachment, Cultural Awareness, Understanding Discrimination Law and Why kids do what they do.

Agnes

I first started foster care in May 1989 in Brisbane. I have been working for Alternate Care since its commencement in 2004. I started doing this work because I found children interesting and special.

My work with Alternate Care as a Foster Carer gives me great satisfaction and I feel that all of my needs are met constantly. When things go wrong, Alternate Care will always get back to me with support and strategies. I have always admired the work and efforts that Alternate Care have put into the community, whilst always maintaining a united, strong, talented and professional reputation.

My experiences with a large variety of children has been challenging, satisfying and rewarding. I have experienced the many different facets that are brought about by being a foster carer and have forged long lasting relationships with many of `my angels’.

I have gained extensive experience through the many courses made available through Alternate Care, some of the courses I have completed are: Aged Care - Certificate 3, Child Care Act and Regulations, Children's Protective Behaviour Workshop, Early Childhood Settings, Sexuality and Self Protection, Disability Work - Certificate 3, Orientation:  Sharing the Care and Mental Health Work - Certificate 4.