Resources for children and youth in care

You may be going through a lot of changes right now because you are living somewhere other than your home. It’s ok to be having feelings about the changes that you are experiencing and to be missing the people and spaces that are most familiar to you. During this time, the adults in your life, including your caregiver, teacher or teachers, school counsellor and principal, can help you with these changes. If you have questions, these adults, or other adults that you trust, can provide a safe space to respond to go through things that you are wondering about or feeling. They are all focused on supporting your well-being and your learning right now and can help guide you through these transitions.

While you're in care, there's another team that also supports you – it includes your social worker, your foster family and community supports. These adults have a shared responsibility to make sure you're protected and that you know your rights. If you would like your rights explained to you, ask your caregiver, social worker, or anyone else you trust, to explain them to you. 


Last updated: March 11, 2021

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Student Resources & Supports

There are resources available for students of all ages to help you manage your learning while you are in care. For older students, there are also resources to support you with your next steps as a learner while you are in care and for afterwards. 

Know your Rights: As a child in care, you have rights that are protected. Learn more about them by accessing following resources.

Take Care of Your Mental Wellness: Being in care can be stressful. Learn more about your mental wellness and seek help from your trusted adults when you are overwhelmed.

Learn How to Stay Safe: As a child in care, it is important that you feel safe and connected to your school community. Reach out to your trusted adults when you are feeling unsafe and learn more about safe and respectful school environment.

Indigenous Children and Youth in Care: If you are an Indigenous child and youth in care, your culture is valued, and it is important you stay connected to your culture and community you come from.

Children and Youth with Disabilities or Diverse Abilities: If you are a child with a disability or diverse ability you have the right to equitable access to education.  That means you are able to attend your local school along with your classmates and are supported so that you can participate in classroom and school activities.

Know Your Rights: As a child or youth in care, you have rights that are protected. Learn more about them by accessing following resources.

Take Care of Your Mental Wellness: Being in care can be stressful. Learn more about your mental wellness and seek help from your trusted adults when you are overwhelmed.

Learn How to Stay Safe: As a child or youth in care, it is important that you feel safe and connected to your school community. Reach out to your trusted adults when you are feeling unsafe and learn more about safe and respectful school environment.

Indigenous Children and Youth in Care: If you are an Indigenous child or youth in care, your culture is valued, and it is important you stay connected to your culture and community you come from.

Children and Youth with Disabilities or Diverse Abilities: If you are a child or a youth with a disability or diverse ability you have the right to equitable access to education.  That means you are able to attend your local school along with your classmates and are supported so that you can participate in classroom and school activities.

Know Your Rights: As a youth in care, you have rights that are protected. Learn more about them by accessing following resources.

Take Care of Your Mental Wellness: Being in care can be stressful. Learn more about your mental wellness and seek help from your trusted adults when you are overwhelmed.

Learn How to Stay Safe: As a youth in care, it is important that you feel safe and connected to your school community. Reach out to your trusted adults when you are feeling unsafe and learn more about safe and respectful school environment.

Indigenous Children and youth in Care: If you are an Indigenous youth in care, your culture is valued, and it is important you stay connected to your culture and community you come from.

Children and Youth with Disabilities or Diverse Abilities: If you are a youth with a disability or diverse ability you have the right to equitable access to education. That means you are able to attend your local school along with your classmates and are supported so that you can participate in classroom and school activities.

 


Graduation Supports

Find out what programs and flexible options are available to help you graduate.

Taking high school courses can help with various educational paths, including working towards high school graduation, upgrading for work or preparing for entrance into a post-secondary program.

Adult learners (18 and older) can enroll in this program to take courses as credit towards their Adult Graduation Diploma. Courses can be taken at school district continuing education centres, or as part of the Adult Basic Education (ABE) program at a post-secondary institution

There are a number of high school courses available to adults who have already have graduated – and they're tuition-free.

 


Post-Secondary Supports and Grants for Youth and Young Adults

After you complete high school, you may be interested in exploring your post-secondary options for additional learning. Several programs are available to support you in your next steps post-graduation.

This program waives tuition fees for B.C. students who are former youth in care between 19 and up to their 27th birthday who are attending a B.C. public post-secondary institution.

  • To be eligible for a tuition waiver you must be between the ages of 19 and 26 and have either:
    • Been in care of government for at least 2 years – includes Voluntary Care Agreement, Special Needs Agreements, Temporary Custody Order or a Continuing Custody Order
    • Lived with a family member (other than a parent) or another adult for at least two years, as part of an agreement or custody order with the Ministry of Children and Family Development or a Delegated Aboriginal Agency
    • Been on a youth agreement for at least two years
  • As long as you apply and attend your first day of school prior to your 27th birthday, the Ministry will cover your tuition for 4 years or the length of your program

Find out more about the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program

If you've been in foster care or had a Youth Agreement, you may qualify for the Agreements with Young Adults Program 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 or life program.

Most post-secondary programs and courses have tuition or fees associated with them. Additional education expenses can also include textbooks, stationery supplies, uniforms or specialized tools. You will need to plan and budget to afford these costs. StudentAid BC is able to help you navigate funding options and build a plan to finance your education.

This program provides grants of up to $5,500 per program year to former B.C. youth in care students between 19 and 24 years of age. Students may receive a maximum of four grants. 

This program helps full-time students with a permanent disability with the cost of education by replacing approximately $1,000 in B.C. student loan funding.

Supports youth and young adults with living expenses such as rent, food, and transportation while accessing the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program. 

Parents who are under the age of 25 may qualify for help with child care while they finish high school

  • Up to $1,500 (per month per child) to help cover the cost of child care
  • A space for their child in a care program at or near the school they're attending

Supports young people in and from care to pursue their careers and achieve their goals through education and skill building.

In partnership with the Ministry of Children & Family Development and the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, TELUS is offering eligible young adults between the ages of 19-26 a free phone and 2-year data plan.

Parents who are under the age of 25 may qualify for help with child care while they finish high school 

  • Up to $1,500 (per month per child) to help cover the cost of child care
  • A space for their child in a care program at or near the school they're attending 

Find out how to qualify

WorkBC offers employment services to eligible individuals 16 years and over. There are also specific services offered to youth and young adults in and from government care between the ages of 16-30 including being able to access employment counselling service in their final year of school. 

EducationPlannerBC features additional scholarships and bursaries available for students and specific bursaries for Indigenous students. Talk to your school counsellors to help you find those available to you and to help you apply. 

If you are a child or teen and would like to talk to someone, call the Helpline for Children at 310-1234. You do not need an area code. You can call at any time of the day or night and you do not have to give your name.
You can also get help from:


If you are an Indigenous child or youth, there are additional supports you may want to access :

 Hope for Wellness Help Line:

  • Toll-free 1-855-242-3310
  • Offers 24/7 counselling and crisis intervention by phone or online chat
  • Available in French, English, Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut 

Kuu-us Crisis Response Services:

  • Toll-free 1-800-588-8717
  • Provides 24/7 culturally-aware crisis support to Indigenous people in BC.

Metis Crisis Line:

  • 1-833-638-4722
  • Provides 24/7 mental health support
  • Includes crisis intervention and access to crisis programs

 


Additional Resources

AgedOut.com

AgedOut.com is for young adults who were in government care in B.C.

It's an up-to-date warehouse of information on resources and services available to young adults, and a learning tool to help you feel empowered as you leave care.

Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks

The Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks (FBCYICN, or the Fed) is a youth-driven, provincial non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of young people in and from care in BC between the ages of 14 and 24.