Funding will allow more than 4,500 B.C. children and youth living in care access to educational, enrichment, housing and transitioning in and out of care support
TORONTO, May 31, 2016 /CNW/ - Children and youth living or in contact with British Columbia's child welfare system will continue to benefit from life-altering programs with today's announcement that the Children's Aid Foundation will invest an additional $2 million over the next three years in helping them reach their full potential.
"Only 42% of youth in care in Canada will graduate with their high school diploma and within months of turning 19, almost half of former youth in care will go on income assistance," says Valerie McMurtry, President & CEO, Children's Aid Foundation. "Through our fundraising efforts, we are establishing programs in British Columbia that can contribute to more positive outcomes for children and former youth in care and provide the additional support needed to help them heal, thrive and lead happy lives."
Over the last three years, more than 2,000 children youth in British Columbia have accessed life-changing educational and enrichment support through the Children's Aid Foundation, its donors and BC children, youth and family serving agencies including: Pacific Community Resources Society, Penticton & District Community Resource Society, Richmond Youth Services, North Okanagan Youth & Family Services, Indigenous Perspectives Society, Elizabeth Fry Society of Greater Vancouver and The Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC.
"We are proud to be a partner of the Children's Aid Foundation. Their support means that we can make a greater impact in the lives of the children, youth and families we are dedicated to help," says Ingrid Kastens, Executive Director, Pacific Community Resources Society.
With today's announcement, the Children's Aid Foundation will be able to expand its programs and services offered over the next three years to more than 4,500 of British Columbia's vulnerable children and youth. Programs and services that they will be able to access include:
- Comprehensive range of needs-based educational support to children and youth in care and those transitioning out of care. This involves supporting elementary and high-school completion programs; providing tutoring, scholarships and bursaries; providing funds for costs not traditionally covered by awards and scholarships such as entrance exam fees, career-related course or travel costs to a program interview; and funding to address issues impacting academic success, such medical expenses like eye glasses or dental procedures – all through the support of The HSBC Bank Canada National Transformation Project.
- Supports for families that will prevent children and youth from entering care including specialized, culturally appropriate assistance and planning for the permanent care of Aboriginal children and youth with an FASD diagnosis; a family counsellor to help coordinate community supports and an early childhood facilitator to offer childhood development services to children of homeless women. These grants are provided by a British Columbia-based bequest from the Estate of Sandra Margaret Reid (Alter Ego Trust).
- Housing support program to assist youth who have aged out of the child welfare system find safe and stable housing and avoid being homeless through The Slaight Family Foundation Right at Home Program.
- Awards recognizing elementary and high school students who are doing exceptionally well in school given their extremely difficult personal circumstances and encourages them to complete high school and pursue a post-secondary education by providing tools and motivation for their success. Awards are given for perseverance, attendance, improved grades and transitions from special education to general or advanced classes through Scotiabank's Stay in School Program.
- Sports, recreational, cultural and educational enrichment activities through the support of CIBC Children's Foundation's Miracle Fund program.
- Comfort kits packed with everyday essentials for children and youth entering the child welfare system provided by the Children's Aid Foundation's Ted & Loretta Rogers Foster Care Transition Program.
Expanding the Foundation's reach to help more children and youth living in British Columbia's child welfare system is one aspect of the Children's Aid Foundation's National Campaign for Child Welfare, which aims to raise $60 million to change the lives of thousands of children and youth for the better. Learn more about the campaign at http://www.cafdn.org/campaign .
About the Children's Aid Foundation
The Children's Aid Foundation is Canada's leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth in the child welfare system. With the support of generous corporate, foundation and individual donors, we have been helping children reach their potential against all odds since 1979. Join us and help some of the most vulnerable kids in Canada overcome traumas of the past and rebuild stability, self-worth and a sense of life's possibilities. Learn more at www.cafdn.org .
SOURCE Children's Aid Foundation
For further information: Media contact: Lisa Lipkin, Lisa Lipkin Communications, [email protected], 416-988-4189