BC government announces $7.7 million investment to support youth from province’s care

BC government announces $7.7 million investment to support youth from province's care

File photo

File photo

Young adults who have spent time in provincial care will be eligible for more financial support, says the B.C. government.

A new investment of $7.7 million in the Agreement with Young Adults Program for 2018 and 2019 was announced Sunday, by the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

The increase adds an extra year of eligibility to the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program, raising the age limit to a youth’s 27th birthday.

The needs-based monthly support rate has now been increased to a new maximum of $1,250, up from $250.

Year-round financial support will also be introduced, instead of the previous eight-month limit. The province says this is so young people can continue to receive supports while on program breaks, like during the summer months.

The increase looks to expand support and help youth from the province’s care to achieve independence.

The Agreement with Young Adults Program is aimed at helping with costs for rent, child care and health care while youth go back to school.

It also supports youth attending a rehabilitation, vocational or approved life skills program.

“Parents recognize that — with today’s cost of living — young adults need time to figure out their path and steady support to get where they want to go,” said Children and Family Development Minister Katrine Conroy in a release.

“That’s especially true for children and youth in government care, and it’s why we’re increasing financial support, making our programs more flexible and keeping the door open longer to help them access the right supports when they’re ready.”

The program was introduced in 2008, and has supported 2,880 young adults as of December 2017.

Last fall, 229 former youth in care benefited from the provincial tuition waiver program, compared to 189 youth from 2016 to 2017.

Since September 2017, 20 per cent more students in public post-secondary institutions are benefiting from the tuition waiver program, compared to all of last year.

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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