Help for Kids Leaving Care Welcomed
ON, Jan. 24, 2013 – The province’s commitment to extend financial and emotional
support for youth leaving care could help reduce the high number of these young
people who become homeless,” Bruce Rivers, Covenant House Executive Director
Our Executive Director Bruce Rivers with Child and Youth Services
Minister Laurel Broten
and Youth Services Minister Laurel Broten announced a series of sweeping
changes to the child welfare system, including extended support to youth aged
21 to 25 leaving care and who are in school to improve their chances of success.
unveiled the government’s plan at the downtown agency for homeless youth that
serves many of these young people. A report by the Provincial Advocate for
Children and Youth cites an estimated 40 percent of youth from child welfare
find themselves homeless. A recent Covenant House youth survey found that one
in four youth had been in care.
are hopeful that the commitment to extend support for youth in care and those
who are leaving care will help more of them succeed. We believe this is a step
in the right direction that can move Ontario forward as a leader in the field
in Canada,” said Rivers, who was a member of the Working Group that presented
the minister with recommended changes earlier this week.
also noted that he was particularly encouraged by the announcement of funding
for special community workers to provide ongoing support to youth as they
transition out of care – an initiative similar to a program offered by Covenant
are excited by the plans for Youth in Transition workers in the community to
provide ongoing support to help youth move towards independence,” he said.
“Based on our experience with a similar program, I believe this will go a long
way in helping young people succeed.”
the past four years, the agency has successfully piloted a Youth in Transition
program to provide flexible one-on-one support in the community to young people
moving to independence. Covenant House workers help young people with life
skills and counselling as well as housing, jobs and educational opportunities,
and connect them to other resources. Last year, the program served more than 40
youth, most of whom have been involved with the Catholic Children’s Aid.
program is delivered in partnership with other Catholic youth-serving agencies
and is funded by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
said he was privileged to serve on the Working Group appointed last year that
included community representatives and young people currently and previously in
was such a positive experience working with the community members and the
inspiring young people who played an integral role in driving these changes,”
House, the country’s largest shelter for homeless youth, serves about 3,500 young
people annually and has the widest range of services under one roof, including
educational and employment assistance, counselling and health care. The agency
relies on donors for more than 80 percent of its almost $19-million annual
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Facts & Stats
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Bina’s parents adored their sweet, bright-eyed daughter. When her life was threatened, they risked everything to save her.
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There are 10,000 homeless youth in Toronto each year
Homeless youth are forty times more likely to die than other youth
70% of homeless youth are fleeing homes with abuse and neglect