When youth “age out” of the child welfare system as early as 18 years of age, they lose the supports they were provided with while in care. Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s Stand Up for Kids Project is helping to support young people transitioning from child welfare into life on their own. Unfortunately, youth who have been involved with child welfare are up to 200 times more likely than their peers to become homeless. With financial supports like first and last month’s rent and access to a caring housing expert to coach them through this transition period, they’re able to secure safe, sustainable housing so they can focus on completing their studies and securing employment, resulting in a better chance of leaving behind the generational cycle of poverty and neglect.
She had been working toward a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at a university in Alberta while struggling with ongoing chronic health challenges. For her third year of the program, she was accepted at a university in British Columbia. With no family to rely on for support, she knew the move was going to be expensive.
“I got in touch with my youth worker and explained my goals and circumstances,” SAMANTHA said. “She approved me for the support to [cover] my rent, my damage deposit, and my moving expenses, which was what I needed to make this as easy a transition as it could be.”
SAMANTHA believes this support in her education and future goals contributed to her success. “I’m unsure if I would have been able to make this move without it,” she reflected. “Furthermore, it demonstrates that there are people who are willing and able to help, which is invaluable to me.”
By providing SAMANTHA with the means to secure stable housing, she was able to focus on her education and earning her degree.
The Stand Up for Kids Project continues to break the barriers to a brighter future and create new possibilities for children and youth at risk of entering, growing up in, and transitioning out of the child welfare system. To read more stories of impact, click here.
*Name and visual identity been protected.