If you know a youth 18 to 27 years old who has spent time in Government Care please give them a copy of the updated Tuition Guide or connect them to AgedOut.com.
Young adults, who meet the eligibility requirements for Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) Program, will now get more financial support for rent, child care and health care while they go back to school or attend a rehabilitation, vocational or approved life skills program.
As of April 1, 2018, the AYA Program will be expanded:
Adding an extra year of eligibility to align with the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program by raising the upper age limit to the 27th birthday.
Increasing the needs-based monthly support rate by up to $250, to a new maximum of $1,250.
Allowing for year-round financial support instead of the previous eight-month limit, so young people can continue to receive supports while on program breaks, e.g., through the summer months.
Since it was introduced in 2008, 2,880 young adults have benefited from AYA (as of Dec. 31, 2017).
In fall 2017, 229 former youth in care benefited from the provincial tuition waiver program compared to 189 youth in 2016-17. Since September 2017, 20% more students in public post-secondary institutions are benefiting from the tuition waiver program in the first term, compared to all of last year.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development has provided $250,000 per year in funding since fiscal year 2014-15, for the Learning Fund for Young Adults (LFYA), an education fund for former youth in care. The Laptops for Learning program is a partnership between the ministry, IBM Canada and the Ministry of Citizens’ Services to provide free laptop computers to eligible young adults from government care currently receiving funding under the AYA program and attending a post-secondary institution.
The ministry has provided $616,000 over four years in one-time-only funding to support the YWCA’s Strive program, a program that helps youth leaving care hone life and employment skills.
In March 2017, ICBC announced funding for a $50,000 bursary to provide driver training for youth in and from care.
The ministry is committed to exploring further enhancements to the AYA program, including supports to address barriers and increase uptake.