Peel CAS welcomes changes which will help youth prepare for independence
The provincial government implemented a new policy directive for youth transitioning to adulthood (18-21 years of age) called “Continued Care and Support for Youth.”This directive replaces the Extended Care and Maintenance (ECM) agreement and came from recommendations submitted in a report – My Real Life Book – to the Minister of Children and Family Services by the Youth Leaving Care Working Group (made up of current and former wards of Ontario).
The Ontario Government announced that it would be providing more support to help young people succeed. In partnership with all Ontario universities and a third of Ontario colleges, 100 per cent of tuition fees, up to a maximum of $6,000 per year, will be covered for former Crown wards and youth who are in and leaving care. In addition, the government will provide a Living & Learning Grant of $500 per month for the academic year to help cover living costs for youth leaving care aged 21 to 24 who are enrolled in OSAP-eligible college and university programs.
The creation of 50 Youth-in-Transition worker positions across the province will help young people leaving the care of Children's Aid Societies find the right supports and services including:
•Securing local affordable housing
•Finding education and employment resources to help cover the cost of postsecondary education and training, or to find a job
•Identifying skills training, such as financial literacy courses and meal planning
•Accessing health and mental health services like being connected with a family doctor and counselling
•Locating legal services, including advice for youth in the justice system
The province is also investing in a new Aftercare Benefits Initiative. Starting this summer, eligible young people ages 21 to 24, who were previously in the care of a Children's Aid Society, can access:
•Health and dental services, including prescription drugs, vision care and hearing aids.
•Extended health services, such as physiotherapy, psychotherapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment.
•Additional benefits, including therapy and counselling
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