Youth in government care to receive extended support

Extra support for youths who are under government care or have recently aged out of care will be given extra support as part of COVID-19 emergency measures.

Youths in foster care, contracted residential agencies or with relatives through the extended family program are now allowed to stay in their placements past their 19th birthday until March 31, 2021.

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The same applies for youths on Independent Living and Youth agreements who receive financial support.

Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister of Children and Family Development, wants to “assure” youths in care that they can continue to receive support.

“Especially right now, youth in our care need and deserve to feel supported and safe and our government wants to make sure that happens,” said Conroy in a media release.

Easier access to life-skills and rehabilitation supports through the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program will be maintained for the next year, according to the media release.

This includes life-skills programs, cultural learning options and online programming.

More flexibility will also be given to young adults to access mental health and rehabilitative supports while in the AYA program starting Oct. 1.

Social workers will be transition planning with young adults who are ready to move from their placements as well as making needed changes to housing agreements for those who need to stay in their places past Sept. 30.

“These interim measures further complement government’s COVID-19 Action Plan to provide income supports, tax relief and direct funding for people, businesses and services, as well as the recently accounted Economic Recovery Plan.”

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