What happens when youth from foster care turn 19? In BC, approximately 700 youth age out of the foster care system each year on their 19th birthday.
Leaving government care – their “public parent” – youth are cut off from the support they need, are thrown into adult life, and often have no-one to turn to in their 20s.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Vancouver Foundation's Fostering Change initiative has launched a new campaign - #SUPPORTTHE700 - to raise awareness of this issue and encourage all candidates in the 2017 BC Provincial Election to show their support for youth aging out of foster care in BC.
YOUTH AGING OUT OF FOSTER CARE DESERVE THE SAME SUPPORT AS EVERYONE ELSE
We’ve all been 19, and most of us didn’t make it on our own. That’s why in BC, 92% of parents provide their children age 19+ with a range of support.
For most of us, this includes financial support, help with rent and groceries, emotional support and advice. It’s why 9 out of 10 parents agree that young people in their 20s need the support of their family. Youth aging out of foster care deserve the same support as everyone else.
We need to make changes now. Behind the tragic headlines are some sobering facts. Youth aging out of foster care in BC experience unacceptably high levels of homelessness, mental health issues, and low graduation rates. They are an amazing and resilient group, but this can’t go on. This issue costs provincial taxpayers over $250M per year, while the cost of investing in these youth is less than $60M.
ASK YOUR CANDIDATES TO SIGN THE PLEDGE
We can all do more to learn about this issue, and to talk to others in our communities about ways to provide better support and opportunities for youth aging out of foster care.
But politicians play a special role in our communities. Youth aging out of foster care deserve to see action from the people we elect to serve them.
We invite all candidates in the 2017 British Columbia Provincial Election to demonstrate their commitment to the success of approximately 700 youth who age out of foster care each year in BC.
In 2016, over 17,000 people in BC signed a petition to increase financial support for youth aging out of care, and 71% of the public support the idea of providing them with living expenses. People in BC care about this issue. We know candidates care too.
Ask them to sign the pledge, and show us they are ready to act.