New Funding to help youth leaving child welfare
TORONTO, ON, Mar. 20, 2014 – More youth who have left the care of the children’s aid will have a better chance of success with the support of Covenant House community workers thanks to new funding from the Ontario government.Much more than a shelter, Covenant House offers about 3,000 kids annually the widest range of life-changing services under one roof, including education, employment and job training, counselling, and health care. To do all this, the agency relies on donors for 80 percent of its annual budget.
The model for the community workers, or Youth-in-Transition (YIT) workers, was developed by Covenant House in partnership with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto and its member agencies, which also provides funding for the program. For the last five years, the program has been helping homeless youth move to independence, including many who were previously involved with child welfare.
“This is a great program,” says Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Toronto Executive Director Michael Fullan. “By committing to these youth early on, we’re giving them hope for a better future and the chance to become productive, contributing members of society.”
Covenant House received support for three new YIT workers of the 50 recently announced by the province to provide youth 16 to 24 help with securing housing, jobs, educational opportunities, health care, and life skills.
“We are very grateful for the province’s contribution to enable us to help more of these youth and for the recognition that this one-on-one support can give young people the right tools to help them move forward with their lives,” Bruce Rivers, Covenant House Executive Director said.
Rivers was a member of the Youth Leaving Care Working Group that made wide-ranging recommendations to the province last year, including the YIT model.
The agency’s YIT team was recently recognized with a national achievement award by the Child Welfare League of Canada for helping make a difference in the lives of youth formerly in care.
The three additional YIT workers will be dedicated to helping young people at Greater Toronto Area-based child welfare agencies as well as other city youth shelters.
Contact: Rose Cino
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