Upper North News – February 2018

Upper North RC
Leanne Brownie
09 282 9483 or
027 566 0294

Happy New Year Everyone

The Carer Families workshop is happening on 13 February, 9.30am – 2.30pm in Kaitaia. Would love to see you there. This is an interesting and reflective workshop that looks at the personal attributes and skills you have as a caregiver and the impact on the rest of the family. We will explore the sometimes complex effects of fostering on the whole whanau, ways of minimizing the negative ones by regular checking in with each whanau member and how to look after ourselves better (most of us put this way down the list!).

It also covers the caregiver role, rights and responsibilities. For more information and register click here.

It’s been a good three week’s break for me and I hope you got some rest and recreation time with (or without) loved ones.

This time of year can be the best and worst of times as it brings its unique stressors as well as the obvious blessings.  Please plan to take care of your selves this year as we all know caring for children is challenging yet often the circumstances that surround caring for others’ children increase those challenges many fold.

Northland has had its usual chaotic weather, but those of us who have lived here for most of our lives wouldn’t have it any other way!!  As we watch the world news we are reminded to be grateful we don’t have deep snow to shovel, water raging through our homes and streets or fires destroying everything in its path! Nonetheless, fostering is no easy feat and I am constantly amazed and in awe of people like yourselves who open their homes and hearts this way.

“My first of many (with great new year’s intentions) 10k step walks in the bush, at the old Kauri log dam in Tangihua Ranges.”

At the National Fostering Kids NZ conference held last year I recall attending the AGM.  A 2017 survey had been conducted with 800+ members responding and some interesting results were considered.  Answers to the questions about what members wanted most indicated strongly that more opportunities for caregivers to get together is a high priority.  Raising Tamariki means our time is not often our own and fitting meetings into an already busy week can be really difficult.

Patting the Hippo in Nanny and Koro’s Pond

I’d love to know what you want, here in the North, and how Fostering Kids NZ can assist to facilitate more opportunities to gather and enjoy time with like-minded people.  Please share your ideas with me and our group on our closed facebook page – Upper North caregivers on Facebook.   If you are not a member of the Upper North Facebook page, you will need to first ‘Join’ the group.

I know the Family Fun Days were a great success in Kawakawa and Whangarei pools, but other areas have no annual events to look forward to.  I wonder if I could facilitate more small gatherings for whanau who live closer to each other to help towards reducing the isolation we can often feel as caregivers.  Often you may not know who the other caregivers are in your area so if you’d like to know, and give permission to make contact with each other I may be able to organise a pot luck lunch or picnic.

Nga mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa.  Warm greetings to you all.

Leanne Brownie


The Term One training schedule is now live on our website. Please go and have a look at what we are offering next term. I would love to meet you at one of the trainings. This is such a wonderful opportunity to gain further knowledge, skills and strategies to help you in your role. Registrations are required, please register here.  Or if you need any assistance or have any questions, please contact Christine on 0800 100 849.

If you are interested in one to one, or small group discussion sessions please call me to discuss. Discussion sessions are for two hours and cover a wide range of topics.


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