Up to 300 young families and youth in government care will benefit from a Family and Youth Partnership pilot project aimed at helping them find employment and build healthier futures, announced Minister of Social Development Stephanie Cadieux.
The project will focus on eligible young families on income assistance, and youth transitioning from care or involved with the child welfare system who appear at risk of transferring onto income assistance. Using a "key worker" model to create individual case plans, this project connects individuals and families to available services and supports, and follows up with clients to ensure that they are well supported to be successful.
The Family and Youth Partnership pilot project:
- Establishes dedicated key workers whose role is to work collaboratively with Family and Youth Partnership clients to connect them to necessary parenting, education and employment services and supports to achieve better social and economic outcomes for themselves and their families.
- Leverages existing services with a goal of reducing dependency on income assistance and increasing employment.
- Helps young families to connect with developmental supports, helping to ensure their children are ready for school, using the range of early childhood community programs including Ready-Set-Learn events, StrongStart BC, Success By Six programming and public library services.
The two-year pilot project between the ministries of Social Development and Children and Family Development was launched earlier this year in five pilot locations - Kelowna, Prince George, Vancouver, Victoria and Surrey.
The Family and Youth Partnership is based on the successes of the Homelessness Intervention Project where the integrated approach to service helped surpass original targets of housing 1,800 people, resulting in 3,800 formerly homeless people receiving housing in 18 months.
Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Social Development:
"Helping youth and young families build the foundation for a healthy, happy future is what the Family and Youth Partnership project is all about. By working with communities using experience already in place, the project connects youth and families to existing supports and services, like the Employment Program of BC, that will help them become more independent and self-sufficient."
Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development:
"By partnering with municipal governments, local community organizations and service providers, we will be better positioned to provide the wraparound services required by young families and youth transitioning out of government care to prepare them for employment and avoid dependence on income assistance. The Family and Youth Partnership is an example of how collaboration can be used to provide the tools young families and at-risk youth need to succeed."
Lorena Pilgrim, interim executive director of the Federation of BC Youth in Care Network:
"Young people leaving care have consistently identified the need for support during their transition to adulthood so they can thrive and become the people they want to be. The Family and Youth Partnership is an exciting opportunity to offer the healthy relationships and services that aid young families and youth transitioning from care with their educational and employment pursuits. We look forward to learning from the results of this important work."
More information on the Family and Youth Partnership is available at: http://www.sd.gov.bc.ca/programs/fyp/index.htm
For more information about the WorkBC Employment Services Centres and information on ministry services for unemployed British Columbians, visit: http://www.workbc.ca/workbccentres/welcome.htm
For more information on the Homelessness Integration Project, visit: http://www.housingmattersbc.ca/strategy1.html
Ministry of Social Development
250 361-7989 (cell)