Newly named SAJE supports offer youth in care a stronger path to adulthood

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Ministry of Children and Family Development

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Expanded supports for youth from care
Updated May 30, 2023, for clarification

Announced in Budget 2022, the Ministry of Children and Family Development is creating a comprehensive suite of services and benefits to support youth and young adults from care. The SAJE program is being implemented over three years. It started in 2022 and will continue through 2024. When fully implemented, the new supports will be available to up to 10,000 eligible youth and young adults.

The latest SAJE enhancements were announced during B.C. Child and Youth in Care Week 2023 at the Child and Youth Art Gallery Exhibit in Victoria. The exhibit, held at Victoria City Hall on May 30-31, showcases the diverse artistic talents of children and youth in care. The public is encouraged to attend the event to view the work of these young artists.

Since 2022, the Province has introduced:

  • March 2022: Housing extension
    • Extended temporary housing supports to allow young adults to continue to stay in their homes past the age of 19 and up to their 21st birthday.
  • August 2022: No-limit earnings exemption
    • Makes employment income exempt when determining the level of funding a young adult will receive through SAJE programming.
  • October 2022: Rent supplements
    • Recipients receive $600 a month for two years or up until the month of their 27th birthday, so long as they continue to meet eligibility criteria.
    • 50% of rent supplements in each intake window are available for Indigenous young adults.
  • February 2023: SAJE navigators and guides
    • New workers will support youth in care starting at age 14 and guide them in accessing services until age 25.
  • April 2023: duration extension for SAJE supports
    • Eligible youth from care can now access supports and services offered through SAJE for 84 months or up until their 27th birthday (formerly 48 months).
  • April 2023: Additional housing flexibility
    • This flexibility makes housing supports more flexible to allow young adults on a temporary housing agreement (THA) to access a temporary support agreement (TSA) on their 19th birthday, regardless of their living arrangement, and the ability to move from a THA to a TSA at any time between their 19th and 21st birthday.

Additional supports coming in 2023 and 2024 include:

  • Effective Aug. 1, 2023, all former youth in care, no matter their age, will be eligible to have post-secondary education tuition waived through the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program.
  • Starting Sept. 1, 2023, a new grant will provide up to $3,500 annually to support tuition waiver recipients in covering additional expenses, such as textbooks and computers.
  • An unconditional monthly income supplement of up to $1,250 until age 20 to cover living expenses for all eligible young adults from care.
  • The option to maintain the monthly income supplement if the young adult participates in programming, such as finishing high school or attending post-secondary, vocational training, life skills, mental health and/or rehabilitation programs.
  • New life-skills, culture and training program support that will provide enhanced funding for young adults to access these types of programs.
  • Enhanced medical benefits that will provide access to counselling.