Agreements with Young Adults
If you’ve been in foster care or had a Youth Agreement, you may qualify for an Agreement with a Young Adult (AYA) – to help cover the cost of things like housing, child care, tuition and health care while you go back to school, or attend a rehabilitation program.
To apply for an agreement, you must be at least 19 and not yet 24 years old, and on your 19th birthday been in one of the following care arrangements:
- The custody of a director or permanent custody of the Superintendent
- The guardianship of a director of adoption
- The guardianship of a director under the Family Relations Act
- A Youth Agreement
Money to Help
In most cases, an AYA will cover living expenses while you go to school or attend a rehabilitation program – including things like:
- Basic needs (e.g. food and housing) for you and your children
- Babysitting and child care
- Health care
Education and skills training programs: Tuition and other expenses are generally covered by the Youth Education Assistance Fund (YEAF). If not, an AYA may help pay for your tuition, books, uniforms, and any other expenses required by the education program.
Find out about other financial aid options for education and training:
- StudentAidBC: Grants and scholarships
- Public Guardian and Trustee Educational Assistance Fund
Rehabilitation programs: An AYA can support you while you attend a mental health or addictions program. If you’ve completed a residential treatment program for alcohol and drug use and now require support to keep from relapsing, a post-treatment support program can be part of your plan. Your social worker can help you create a strategy for doing this.
Apply for an Agreement
Step 1: Four to six weeks before the program you’re interested in begins, complete an application form (PDF). In the section “Program and Supports Needed," describe the program you'd like to take and what kind of financial assistance or other support you may need.
Step 2: Mail or drop off your application form:
Step 3: Within two weeks, a social worker will contact you to prepare a written plan together that explains your goals and the support you need to reach them.
Besides outlining what the provincial government or social worker will do to help you with your plan, it will also outline what's expected of you. For example, you will need to complete one of the following requirements:
- 60% course load in an educational or skills training program (40% if you have a permanent disability)
- A minimum of 15 hours a week participation in a rehabilitation program
- A combination of educational / skills training and rehabilitation program time that equals at least 15 hours a week
Aboriginal young adults with a plan that meets AYA criteria can ask for support from their band or tribal council – they may be able to assist with funding. If not, you can enter into an AYA if you're living on or off a reserve.
Length of an Agreement
You can have more than one AYA – for example, you could:
- Attend a training program for six months with AYA support
- Work for a year without an AYA
- Then, go back to school and enter into another AYA
Here are the criteria for how long you can be on an AYA:
- AYAs can last for up to six months at a time
- The total amount of time you have for being on AYAs is 24 months
- AYAs can’t extend past your 24th birthday