In the early '90s the youth workers at Casa Pallotti Retreat Centre in Millgrove ran a leadership program for young people in the Yarra Valley, which grew into a community partnership with another non-government organization - OzChild Services - to provide respite camps for children with a disability who were in foster care. Through the support and vision of these inspirational leaders (Mick McIvor, Bruce Wood, and Irene) there evolved a unique service model to suit the needs of the individuals who needed support, and established a reputation for high-energy, high-support programs
The founders handed over the reins to a committee of volunteers mostly graduates of the early leadership program who took the name 'CasaCare' and worked tirelessly to ensure the four day camp was a success. As the disability industry was changing and becoming more and more professionalised, the committee began laying the groundwork for growth.
Through word of mouth, the numbers of new leaders was always growing, and the Core Group began fundraising to run larger camps and more of them. This was the year the project moved away from Casa Pallotti at Millgrove to larger campsites around Victoria. Growing up and moving out of home was a major step for this little organization, and it posed a new set of challenges and opportunities.
CasaCare became an Incorporated Body, and began running two annual camps - a Winter Camp and a Spring Camp - for kids with disabilities from a range of backgrounds and with a range of abilities, from kids with high physical support needs to kids with mainly social and behavioural support needs.
Casa Care added more camps to the program when funding was available, and built strong relationships with like-minded organizations to increase the capacity to meet community need.
CasaCare achieved independence and ran its first program that didn't auspice funding from a partner organization, taking advantage of our unique support model and officially specialising in the support of children with Behaviour of Concern. CasaCare found a community Mentor in the Upper Yarra Community House, a well established service provider and progressive-thinking group of people who agreed to help our smaller organization to reach our full potential.
CasaCare underwent a name change, becoming MY Initiative, and continued to develop the Training and Consultation components of the service.