Caring for children. Building brighter futures.
Foster Care & Adoption Services « Post Adoption Resource Centers
Big Brothers Big Sisters « Read to Ride « Wheels Program
Family Services « Parenting for Success « Supportive Independent Living
U.P. Kids is an organization dedicated to caring for children and building brighter futures offering a wide array of programs and services across the Upper Peninsula for children and families. The organization has a history of serving local communities dating back to 1899 as The Good Will Farm.
Originally serving as an orphanage, the organization evolved through the years into a Residential Program for youth followed by an expansion into multiple services in assisting and strengthening families and building assets for youth. Today, U.P. Kids offers Foster Care and Adoption Placement Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and various supportive services for families and youth programs.
U.P. Kids Placement Services
Foster Care & Adoption
Opening your heart and home to a child.
Our Foster Care & Adoption programs provide caring temporary and permanent homes where children are protected and nurtured. Our Post-Adoption Resource Centers offer support services to adoptive families to help maintain and strengthen relationships that will last a lifetime.
Parenting for Success
The Parenting for Success – Foster Care Supportive Visitation (FCSV) program provides an intensive, individualized, parent-child visit approach that addresses the needs of the child, birth parent, and family. Parent and child visits are supported by a visiting coach trained in the Bavolek Nurturing Parenting Program. The program is a family-centered initiative designed to build nurturing parenting skills. Parenting support is provided in the family home before the child visit, during the visit, and after to ensure that the skill is learned and understood by the birth parent.
Supportive Independent Living
U.P. Kids Supportive Independent Living (SIL) provides independent, unlicensed placement and supervision of children who are 16 years or older in either a private residence on their own or in the home of an adult. U.P. KIDS staff meets consistently with the youth and assists them in developing guidelines, goals and plans and in fulfilling the educational and employment requirements of the program. The staff also provides supportive services and education related to a variety of work, finance, relationship, and life skill areas. Each visit is also an opportunity to measure progress and continue an ongoing assessment of the youth’s needs.
Changing perspectives. Changing lives.
As an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, the U.P. KIDS Big Brothers Big Sisters Program seeks to change the lives of children facing adversity—for the better, forever. Big Brothers Big Sisters programs help children to realize their full potential and build their futures by providing strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-to-one relationships. The program provides new perspectives to children by offering friendship, guidance and opportunities with caring volunteers.
Programs include the Traditional BBBS Mentoring Program, High Five Mentoring and TEAM Mentoring.
Additional U.P. Kids’ Programs
The Family Services program is an in-home, family focused service that gives a family an alternative to out-of-home placement. An intensive caseworker works with families in identifying strengths and issues, developing goals and outcome-based plans, and provides assistance in implementing the family plan.
The Wheels Program is a collaboration between U.P. KIDS and the Copper Country Intermediate School District (ISD). UP KIDS recruits individuals, banks, car dealerships and other businesses to donate used vehicles. Automotive students in the ISD Career & Technology Education Center perform repairs and safety checks. UP KIDS gives the reconditioned vehicles to families in need for very nominal fees such as the costs associated with the parts for repairs and title transfers.
The Herman “Winks” Gundlach
Read to Ride Program
“I think reading is important because it makes you smart.”
Read to Ride is a Summer reading program for youth ages 6-14 throughout the western Upper Peninsula. The program encourages children to read during the summer months providing incentive by offering a prize drawing for each age-appropriate book a child completes. Each summer the program awards 20 Mountain Bikes to individual readers selected through the prize drawing.
The more books a child reads, the more chances they receive to win a Mountain Bike.