Megan Allen signed A Comprehensive Action Plan 2019-11-13 12:41:27 -0800I worked with families in the foster care system for a short time. So much trauma happens before kids get into foster care. And the actual foster care system creates even more trauma because it is so incredibly old fashioned and filled with people terrified of being blamed for the next fiasco. And rightly so. It’s not easy to be a person working within that system. While there are many foster parents and biological parents that love their children with all the kindness in the world (and it makes me so happy to have been able to see that love on many occasions…) the constant moving around and not knowing information about where they will lay their heads and with who – it’s damaging.
I support any effort that tries to do something different than removing children from their communities and homes. Foster care does not have to look like it currently does, at all times. There are initiatives in Australia where the kids don’t leave their homes, the parents do. Regardless, being in foster care (and the events that come before foster care) cause damage and that needs thoughtful repair.865 signatures
On April 11, we heard official youth transition stats from Ministry of Children and Family Development representatives. They told us that 87% of eligible, post-19 youth from government care are not accessing MCFD Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) services. AYAs are the primary way MCFD supports the 1000 youth who age out of care every year. It tells us that the program intervention the government has relied on for years is not working.
Premier Horgan told us that the government is working on an action plan: let's ensure it's comprehensive.
Decision makers are listening and it's time for us to act. On Thursday, April 12, Premier John Horgan responded on behalf of six ministries to our policy asks made on October 24. He made a commitment to "expand and improve supports to youth transitioning from care through the development of an action plan to be created by the Cross-Ministry working group."
It's government-speak, but represents a milestone for the youth-in-care community. We successfully nudged the creation of a cross-ministry task force dedicated to achieving better outcomes.
We know that better outcomes come from comprehensive, evidence-based policy, and that youth must be included in planning. Youth from care are experts in understanding policy impacts. This expertise is essential to creating a successful action plan.
Please sign our call for a comprehensive action plan
"Premier Horgan, it's essential that bold changes are made for youth from care after 19. In your mandate letter to Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy, you said that you expect substantive progress in funding increases to Agreements with Young Adults "in order to offer supports to all youth aging out of care who need it, not just a few." Your Cross-Ministry action plan must ensure:
- Guaranteed, consistent, and adequate financial support until age 25 through the Agreements with Young Adults program, eliminating all eligibility criteria.
- Government and youth from care advocates come together before the fall legislature to hear youth input and explore universal AYA policy development."