Youth and young adults who have been in government care will have help getting ahead on the road to adulthood, thanks to an expanded driver training program, and renewed investments in life skills and employability programming and resources.
Government is doubling last year’s investment in the Take the Wheel driver training program to $100,000, to help more youth in care learn to drive. The Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks (FBCYICN), ICBC and the ministry will collaborate with youth in care to expand the program from its initial launch.
“For some, learning how to drive is not just a rite of passage, but a necessary, life-long practical skill, especially for those who live in areas where easy access to public transportation is not always a viable option,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development.
“We want to be sure that young people who have been in care can access the same opportunities as everyone else, and gain the kind of skills many parents see as necessary for their children.”
Take the Wheel was established in 2017, as a pilot program between ICBC and the FBCYICN. Government’s new funding will be administered by the FBCYICN, with oversight by the ministry. The ministry has donated an additional two vehicles for youth, who may not otherwise have access to a vehicle for practice or road tests.
The ministry has also re-invested $61,000 in Strive, a 12-week program offered through the YWCA that helps youth and young adults gain life and employability skills, as well as $150,000 for Agedout.com, a website that provides resource connections for youth transitioning out of government care.
Conroy made the announcements at an event hosted by the FBCYICN and the Pacific Community Resources Society, in recognition of BC Child and Youth in Care Week, June 4–10, 2018. Similar events are being held throughout B.C. to honour B.C.’s children and youth in care to celebrate their diversity and accomplishments, and to show them a supportive community stands with them.
- As of April 1, 2018, the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program has been expanded to make more funding available, throughout the calendar year, to eligible former youth in care under the age of 27, to help them complete post-secondary, rehabilitation and/or approved life-skills programs.
- On June 4, 2018, government expanded the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program launched in September 2017, adding tuition-fee waivers for construction trades training delivered by union providers: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018AEST0071-001086
Provincial Tuition Waiver Program: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=E0D1E7CACCA1408EAB8251766AF187FD
Stories from Child and Youth in Care Week:
Former youth in care uses martial arts to explore his feelings and his future: https://news.gov.bc.ca/17315
From government care to helping others look and feel their best: https://news.gov.bc.ca/17332