The BCGEU welcomes a report released yesterday by B.C.'s Representative for Children & Youth which makes a number of concrete recommendations to address ongoing gaps in transition supports for B.C. youth aging out of care, and clearly identifies that additional staffing are necessary to provide these supports. The report clearly identifies the need for support that continues far beyond the current arbitrary nineteenth birthday.
Despite recent efforts to offer more improved opportunities for youth transitioning into adulthood - such as the post-secondary tuition waiver program and expanded eligibility for Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program – available evidence shows they are still falling behind.
Recommendations 1 and 2 of the report confirms that more staffing will be necessary in order to provide those supports. "Staff… need to have the time, training, proper tools and supports… to ensure better transition planning. Implementation of this recommendation will therefore have staffing and resource implications."
The report also notes the absence of dedicated youth transition workers and calls for MCFD to partner with community agencies to "develop and implement a plan to establish dedicated youth transition workers to assist and support youth transitioning from care into adulthood".
These recommendations reflect the experience and expertise BCGEU members have shared in calling for more staffing over the years.
We look forward to working with the MCFD to implement these changes and continuing to improve outcomes for B.C. youth aging out of care.
Judy Fox-McGuire, vice-president, Component 6
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