For most of BC, turning 19 is a day to celebrate with friends, have a drink, and enjoy newfound freedom. For youth exiting the care of MCFD, this is a daunting day. Many end up homeless, exposed to a new future of marginalization and disempowerment so common with a system dropping us at our age of majority. So our community organizers moved into city hall to celebrate a 19th birthday party of sorts – where else can we go?
The Fostering Change Community Organizers are a team of youth from care committed to justice and better policy outcomes for youth leaving the system. In late October, we went to BC’s parliament with 60 other youth to demand universal and comprehensive supports for youth aging out of care. This action takes us to the municipal level.
Youth from care in BC are a public responsibility. When the ministry takes us away from our biological caregivers it is a commitment to help us fare better than we might have been at home – a task that requires all levels of government to step forward. On December 7th, we’re asking: “How do you stand for children and youth in care?”