Young people in government care will have access to new and increased supports until the age of 27.
Budget 2022 investments will better support them as they transition to adulthood.
“Young people transitioning from government care deserve to have the same support, guidance and time to grow that their peers rely on,” said Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development. “That’s why we’re moving away from the broken system we inherited to support stronger transitions for all youth aging out of care, not just a few.”
Budget 2022 funds comprehensive supports for young people transitioning from government care to adulthood, including a new financial supplement, a no-limit earnings exemption, help with the cost of housing, improved access to transition workers, enhanced life skills and mental-health programs, and better medical benefits until age 27.
This is the first time the Province has created a comprehensive cross-government approach to supporting youth in and from care.
“We’re all better off when we work together and look out for each other,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “Supporting youth in care to transition to adulthood the way we would support our own children is one way we’re building a stronger society and putting people first.”
Since 2017, the Province has been making significant investments to improve supports for youth transitioning from care. In Budget 2022, the Province will invest nearly $35 million over three years, including increases of $4.6 million in 2022-23, $10 million in 2023-24 and $19.8 million in 2024-25.
“We learned a lot from the pandemic emergency supports, and young people told us what they needed to not just survive, but to thrive – and we heard them loud and clear,” Dean said. “We believe in these young people, and we’re showing that by giving them the supports they need to lead healthy and happy lives.”
People who have been in government care are far more likely to experience homelessness or a mental-health crisis in their lives. Budget 2022 investments aimed at supporting strong transitions for former youth in care are part of a $633 million cross-government strategy to prevent homelessness and keep people housed.
Lorena Bishop, executive director, Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks –
“This investment is an important step toward altering the trajectory of youth leaving government care, which we know can lead to homelessness. We look forward to continuing to work in partnership with government to ensure youth in and from care have the supports and resources they need so they can share their incredible gifts, strengths and talents with the world.”
Susan Russell-Csanyi, former youth in care and advocate from the National Council of Youth in Care Advocates –
“The investment in the cohort of youth who are aging out of care embeds equity into the community. We know that youth who have lived expertise in government care experience homelessness after leaving that system at a disproportionate rate. As advocates, our hope is that all youth will have access to support and, therefore, look forward to turning 19.”
- Approximately 1,100 youth transition to adulthood from government care each year, 46% of whom are Indigenous.
- Between Jan. 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021, emergency housing and the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program measures reached 625, or 59%, of the 1,068 AYA-eligible young adults who turned 19.
Budget 2022: https://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2022/
Agreements with Young Adults program:
Further resources for former youth in care: https://agedout.com/
To have your say on how new supports and services for youth and young adult from care are implemented, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/youthtransitions/
A backgrounder follows.