Help Foster Children Aging out of the System.
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Every year there are thousands of youth in Quebec who enter and exit the child welfare system. Every year over 1200 youth age out of the system in Quebec, many left at the young age of 18 to find their own way in the world, when most 18 year old youths still benefit from the emotional and financial support of their parents.
Unfortunately, there are many social problems that plague youth while they are in care and they continue to struggle with these issues after leaving care.
These issues include disproportionate rates of teen pregnancy and teen parenthood, substance abuse, incarceration, and homelessness among youths who have aged out of the child protection system (Dworsky and Courtney, 2010). Dworsky & Courtney 2010
An alarming example of the disproportionate rate of homelessness among youth from care is the Canadian study cited by Goldstein, Erickson & Wekerle, and (2009) that found that 42.7% of homeless youths were once involved with the Children’s Aid Society. Foster care: extend services, save youth
The MLUWC (www.mluwc.com) is writing letters on behalf of CARE Jeunesse and the youth they work to protect. Here is an excerpt from our letter to MNA Geoffrey Kelley:
We are writing to you on behalf of the Quebec Provincial Council of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) concerning youth aging-out of foster care. The correlation between foster care and homelessness has been cited in several reports (see below), but homelessness is only one of a range of negative outcomes that youth from care experience. Alumni-of-care organizations, such as C.A.R.E.Jeunesse (http://carejeunesse.com/ provide a sense of community to these youth, and can act as consultants to government on an ongoing basis.The MLUWC is aware that a longitudinal study is being conducted in Quebec and France by CREVAJ (Chaire de recherche du Canada sur l’Évaluation des actions publiques à l’égard des jeunes et des populations vulnérables) due in 2021 but the CFUW Quebec Provincial Council, its clubs and members are all advocating strongly for urgent, systemic, community and government level reforms:
- Financial support after aging out until at least the age of 21;
- Social supports such as follow-up by a worker past the age of 18;
- Designated supervised apartments for youth aging out of care for every region and agency;
- Living expenses for youth who have aged out but who are registered in a post-secondary institution;
- Regularly scheduled hearings for youth leaving care so that the government stays up to date and makes modifications as needed.
- On-going financial support for alumni-of-care organizations, such as C.A.R.E. Jeunesse
The CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization with over 100 Clubs, located in every province across Canada. Since its founding in 1919, CFUW has been working to improve the status of women and to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace. CFUW is the largest affiliate of
Graduate Women International (GWI). Both organizations have special consultative status at the United Nations.
Portrait des personnes en situation d'itinérance, http://sante.gouv.qc.ca/ and Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. (Stephen Gaetz, Bill O’Grady, Sean Kidd & Kaitlin Schwan. (2016).
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