Agreements with Young Adults
To apply for an agreement, you must be at least 19 and not yet 26 years old, and on your 19th birthday were 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, vocational or approved life skills program, including things like:
- Basic needs (e.g. food and housing) for you and your children if you have any
- 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
- Aging Out of Foster Care
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 worker can help you create a strategy for doing this.
Life Skills programs: You can be participating in an approved Life Skills program while on AYA. Life Skills Programs are intended to help you to gain the needed skills and provide hands-on guidance in life skills like financial literacy, time management, decision-making and problem solving in order to achieve your goals. A worker can help you to understand the life skills that you wish to learn and to develop a plan. A full list of eligible programs will be available by the end of 2016.
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 Support Need" 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, this meeting 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
- An approved life skills program that is at least 12 hours a week (or 48 hours per month)
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 48 months
- AYAs can’t extend past your 26th birthday