Our new report – by SFU economist Marvin Shaffer and Family Policy Researcher, Lynell Anderson – is the first to estimate the costs associated with the adverse outcomes that many youth aging out of foster care in BC each year experience.
The report demonstrates significant annual costs – up to $268 million – are associated with the adverse experiences many youth aging out of foster care at 19 encounter, while a much lower level of investment - $57 million per year – would be required to improve outcomes and reduce costs.
“The transition to adulthood for youth aging out of care in BC is markedly different than for other youth, and the educational, economic, social and wellness outcomes are in many instances poor”, says Marvin Shaffer, Principal Investigator. “The cost of adverse outcomes is very high not only for the youth themselves, but also for taxpayers and society as a whole,” he adds.
“Research in the field and the voices of youth aging out of care are consistent in calling for the types of support recommended in the report. Our research shows that the improvement of educational outcomes alone would pay for the relatively modest investment required,” notes Lynell Anderson, Family Policy Researcher.
According to the report, it is very likely that no additional taxes would be required to support $57 million of incremental funding.
In addition, our previous research indicates that more than 70% of British Columbians are in favour of extending financial supports for youth aging out of foster care until age 25.