British Columbia

Young adults out of foster care get $7.7-million funding boost from B.C. government

Young adults who have been in B.C. foster care will get more money for rent, child care and health care, the B.C. government announced Sunday.

Recipients will now get up to $1,250 a month for rent, child care and health care

The B.C. government is investing $7.7 million this year in a program, which funds young adults who have been in foster care and are going back to school or attending a rehabilitation, vocational or life-skills program. (Justin McElroy/CBC)

Young adults who have been in B.C. foster care will get more money for rent, child care and health care, the B.C. government announced Sunday. 

The province is investing $7.7 million this year in a program which funds young adults who have been in foster care and are going back to school or attending a rehabilitation, vocational or 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," Children and Family Development Minister Katrine Conroy said in a statement. 

"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."

Starting April 1, the program will raise the upper age limit by one year to 27. 

Monthly support will increase by up to $250, to a new maximum of $1,250. Young adults will get year-round support instead of the previous eight-month limit. 

More support for youth in care

Since 2008, 2,880 young adults have participated in the program.

Anyone who is 19 to 27 and has been in foster care or had a youth agreement with the government is eligible to apply through the program for help with living expenses, including food, housing, babysitting, health care and transportation.

The program complements the tuition waiver program, which gives young people who were in government care access to free tuition and mandatory fees at all 25 public post-secondary institutions in the province.

The NDP's budget, released last week, also includes $2 million annually to support the program.

In fall 2017, 229 former youth in care had tuition and mandatory fees waived, compared with 189 youth in the previous year.


With files from The Canadian Press

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