In response to your March 22 editorial, “Tragic deadline for troubled youth,” I welcome the opportunity to outline for readers the support programs we offer for youth who have been in care and ‘age out’ of the system when they legally become an adult at 19 years of age.
As early as 15, we work together on a customized plan to help transition youth in our care to adulthood. Some accept our help, some decide they don’t need or want to continue to receive support.
For those who want to maintain a relationship with the ministry, there are a number of ways social workers can help:
• “Agreements with Young Adults” program supports youth up to 24 and last fall we passed an amendment to expand it so that more people can access it for longer.
• The Learning Fund for Young Adults supports the vocational and training needs of young people in government care.
• The Youth Futures Education Fund to help cover expenses beyond tuition for former youth in care.
• In partnership with Covenant House Vancouver, a new young adult mentorship program helps runaway and homeless youth.
• We also offer resources like AgedOut.com, a website designed by and for youth who have aged out of care, offers important info on everything from health and wellness to how to budget effectively.
All services are voluntary. The key is connecting with youth when they’re ready to accept help. That is exactly what the ministry will continue to do.
Minister of Children and Family Development