Young people in government care to have supports until age 27

Cammy Lawson, Youth Advisory Council member, speaks during a BC government announcement with Mitzi Dean, minister of children and family development, on March 15, 2022. || BC government photo
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Youth in government care will have access to new and increased supports until the age of 27, according to the provincial government.

“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.”

This year’s budget funds support for youth 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.

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, according to the provincial government. The increased funding is part of a $633 million cross-government strategy to prevent homelessness.

Of the approximately 1,100 youth who transition to adulthood in government care each year, 46 per cent are Indigenous, according to the provincial government.

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