An Ontario charity is giving $2 million to help B.C. children with links to foster care or who are aging out of the system, to support their families, boost high school graduation rates and reduce homelessness reports Vancouver Sun
The Children’s Aid Foundation said the money will be handed out by service organizations over the next three years to improve the lives of foster children, youth in contact with the child welfare system, or 19 year olds who have transitioned out of foster care.
“Only 42 per cent of youth in care in Canada will graduate with their high school diploma, and within months of turning 19, almost half of former youth in care will go on income assistance,”Children’s Aid Foundation CEO Valerie McMurtry said.
The funding will support programs to help these vulnerable children and youth “heal, thrive and lead happy lives,” she added.
That includes tutoring, scholarships, bursaries and other programs to boost school success rates; support for families to keep kids out of care, including specialized assistance for aboriginal youth and those with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder; a housing program to help teens find safe places to live and avoid becoming homeless; and academic awards, funding for sports and cultural activities, and comfort kits for those entering foster care.
Advocates complain the B.C. child welfare system is underfunded, and that 19 year olds are not properly supported and face dire outcomes when they age of care.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Edmonton and Area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network.