Leaving Child Welfare
When families are in crisis, children may be taken into the child welfare system for their protection from abuse or neglect. Kids who are
orphaned or abandoned by their families may also be taken into care.
Often kids find loving homes with foster parents. But many may
move through a series of foster or group homes, continue to be plagued by the
trauma of their experiences, or have difficulty adjusting to a new family
situation and feeling wanted.
In Ontario, young people are cared for by the child welfare system
up to the age of 18, and then can choose to continue to receive support until
the age of 21.
But often kids, lacking in maturity and eager to leave a
system they feel may not have adequately cared for them, do not choose the
A recent study conducted by the Office of the Provincial
Advocate for Children and Youth found that many youth leaving care are
struggling to move successfully to independence. Many end up on the street. Covenant House is part of a government task force to look at improving the outcome for youth who were formerly in care.
The Ontario government has received recommendations to
reform the child welfare system, including extending support for these youth up
to the age of 25 to help increase their odds of success. The government’s own
study found that the vast majority of Ontarians agree these youth should have
more help to transition successfully to independence.
 25 is
the New 21: The Costs and Benefits of Providing Extended Care and Maintenance
to Ontario Youth in Care Until Age 25, Provincial Advocate for Children and
Recent Media Releases
Covenant House Welcomes Help for Kids Leaving Care
January 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 said.
Read more »
Homeless Youth Shelter Supports Extended Benefits for Foster Youth
May 14, 2013 - More support for young people in foster care, particularly extending the
age of eligibility from 21 to 25, is critical to reducing the alarming
number of these youth who find themselves on the street, says Carol
Howes, Covenant House Toronto program director.
Read more »
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Facts & Stats
A parent's sacrifice
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