Take a stand for youth 'aging out' of foster care at 19

Jun 3 2016, 1:16 am

Even when we’ve officially grown up, many of us are able to call on the support of our parents as we struggle through the trials and tribulations of adulthood.

With sky high rents, rising food prices, and tuition costs, young people often find themselves stuck with debt when pursuing their post secondary education. Those between ages 19 and 28 are still getting support from home to make it through these challenging times.

In fact, research by Vancouver Foundation shows that 92% of parents in British Columbia provide their children aged 19 to 28 with a range of financial, social, and emotional supports.

Unfortunately youth aging out of foster care often lack the same assistance and opportunities to help them succeed.

Cut off from support, youth aging out of foster care often end up homeless, and have no one to turn to in their 20s for advice and support. In B.C., about 40% of homeless youth have some history in the foster care system.

That’s why Vancouver Foundation’s Fostering Change initiative is asking the public to sign and share a petition backing more support for youth aging out of foster care.

The petition includes a call for financial support with basic living costs, relationships with caring adults for advice and support, and more opportunities for youth leaving foster care to connect and contribute to the communities they live in through creative, cultural, and volunteer activities.

“This isn’t about youth from foster care receiving special treatment” says Mark Gifford, Director of Grants and Community Initiatives at Vancouver Foundation. “It’s about access to the kinds of support young people typically get from their families well into their twenties. If it doesn’t make sense for parents to cut ties with their own kids at 19, why would it for youth aging out of foster care?”

If you think youth aging out of foster care deserve the same kinds of support and opportunities most young people in B.C. receive, sign the petition today, and help write the future for youth aging out of foster care.

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