SAJE (Strengthening Abilities and Journeys of Empowerment)

Last updated on April 26, 2024

A group of young adults outside.

SAJE program logo.

Update: Historic help for youth from care supports strong transitions to adulthood

Historic improvements to supports for youth and young adults with care experience in British Columbia are now fully implemented and enshrined in legislation. This means young people with care experience may now access the SAJE program, which provides supports and services until the age of 27. 

Young adults between the ages of 19 to 26 (up to their 27th birthday) are eligible for SAJE if:

  • They reached their 19th birthday while on a Youth Agreement, a Continuing Custody Order or were under the personal guardianship of a director,


  • They achieved permanency between the ages of 12-19 (i.e., adoption after being in care, or under section 54.1 or 54.01),


  • They have 24 months of cumulative time in care between the ages of 12-19, in a range of in- and out-of-care statuses,


  • They were in a comparable arrangement under Indigenous law.

SAJE also provides pre-19 planning support. Youth can be connected to a SAJE Navigator starting at age 14 through to 19.5. Beginning at age 18.5 SAJE Guides will take on this role (working collaboratively with the SAJE Navigator until the youth is 19.5) and continue to support young adults with planning and service access up until age 25.

To check which SAJE supports you are eligible for, please fill out the form below.

To get more information about the SAJE program call 1-866-623-3001 or email

Learn more about what the SAJE program offers under each domain of need outlined below.

Pre-and Post-19 Planning Supports

SAJE Navigators and Guides

Eligible youth and young adults aged 14 to 25 can access transition planning support by a SAJE Navigator, a SAJE Guide, or a similar role available through Indigenous Child and Family Service (ICFS) agencies. These workers assist young people with exploring their hopes and dreams for the future and making a plan for transitioning into adulthood.  

For more information on SAJE Navigators and Guides, please read our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Income Supports

Income Support: Effective April 2024, eligible young adults with care experience can receive Unconditional Income Support of up to $1,250 per month from age 19 to 20 to assist with living expenses, improve financial stability and prevent the experience of homelessness. This monthly assistance can be maintained up until age 27 through Conditional Income Support if the young adult is enrolled in one or a combination of post-secondary, vocational, life-skills, rehabilitative or cultural programming.

Agreements with Young Adults (AYA): Effective April 2024, AYA is becoming a legacy program. This means that there will be no new AYAs after April 3, 2024. The comprehensive suite of SAJE supports, including Income Support, will gradually replace AYA. If you are currently on an AYA, you will continue to access the program without disruptions until your agreement concludes. SAJE Guides, MCFD and ICFS Agencies workers will transition eligible young adults to new income support agreements and introduce you to any additional opportunities available through the SAJE program to ensure access to all the supports and services you are eligible for.

No Limit Earnings Exemption: Effective August 2022, a young adult’s income from employment, including self-employment opportunities and wage replacement programs, such as EI and WCB, no longer impacts the level of funding they receive through SAJE. 

For more information on Income Supports, including legacy AYAs, please read our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Housing Supports

For information on housing supports, including the Rent Supplement Program, SAJE Housing Agreements (SHA) and SAJE Support Agreements (SSA) – formerly THA and TSA – please visit: MCFD Housing Supports. Please check this web page regularly for updates.

Health & Wellness Supports 

SAJE Mental Health and Counselling Benefit: Effective November 2023, young adults who are on an AYA, Unconditional or Conditional Income Support, a SAJE Support or Housing Agreement can receive up to $1,500 per year to access specialized counselling services, including regulated or registered services, cultural healing services and evidence-based therapeutic services (i.e. art therapy) designed to support mental health. 

Enhanced Dental and Optical Benefits: Effective April 2023, dental coverage has increased to up to $1,000 a year, while $600 is available every two years for optical care, including glasses, contacts, and eye exams.

Medical Benefits: Young adults participating in the SAJE program may access a Medical Services Plan (MSP) and PharmaCare Plan C.

For more information on Health & Wellness Supports, including details on medical coverage, please read our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Life-skills, Training and Cultural Connections Funding 

Effective November 2023, young adults enrolled in AYA or Income Support who are focused on developing and/or participating in life-skills programs, pursuing post-secondary education not covered by the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program (PTWP), training or cultural learning, or a combination of the above, can access up to $11,000 in additional funding up to their 27th birthday to support the pursuit of their goals.  

For more information about Life-skills, Training and Cultural Connections (LSTCC) funding, please read our Frequently Asked Questions and Guidelines below.


Video Resources


SAJE: A Better Future for Young People



SAJE Benefits and Supports


Other Resources

Need help with this information? Connect with a worker, friend, or family member, or reach out to MCFD’s SAJE Provincial Support Services (SPSS) at 1-866-623-3001 or

Youth Advisory Council

The B.C. Provincial Director of Child Welfare’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a group of youth who are committed to using their lived experience with the government care system to improve the quality of care for B.C. children and youth.

The YAC is made up of members from across the province between the ages of 17 to 29.  Members are either former or current youth with care experience.

YAC members are also non-government employees who provide recommendations about services and policies that affect children, youth, and families in B.C.  Members consult with the Ministry of Children and Family Development, other government ministries, and other organizations.

StudentAid BC

StudentAid BC helps with the cost of post-secondary education through student loans, grants, and scholarships. They also have programs that help with loan repayment. StudentAid BC also administers the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program (PTWP) and its accompanying Learning for Future Grant.

The Provincial Tuition Waiver Program waives tuition and eligible fees for B.C students who are current or former youth in care studying full- or part-time at the undergraduate level at a B.C. public post-secondary institution, the Native Education College, or one of the approved union-based trades training providers.

Youth Futures Education Fund (YFEF)

YFEF is another low barrier, flexible fund to support living expenses for youth with care experience who are attending a post-secondary institution on a tuition waiver. Learn more about YFEF at Youth Futures Education Fund – Helping youth achieve their potential.


AgedOut program logo. is for youth and young adults who were in government care in B.C. It’s an up-to-date source of information on resources and services available to young adults and a learning tool to help people feel empowered as they leave care.

The Federation of BC Youth in Care Network

The Federation of BC Youth In Care Networks program logo.

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