Fostering Change

The Issue

Children and youth enter foster care at any given age, but in British Columbia all youth in the system must ‘age out’ at 19.

When youth age out, the government services and supports they rely on in place of a family are simultaneously cut off.

  • 57% of homeless youth in some BC communities from care
  • 53% turn 19 with a completed high school education
  • Approximately 1000 youth age out every year

Youth hit a cliff at 19. Let’s change that.


The Campaign

First Call wants to see better policies that help every youth from care thrive.

We’re holding a convening of elected officials and youth, with some key witnesses on October 24 at 1PM in Victoria, at Hotel Grand Pacific.

At 3PM that day, we’ll hold a public rally and demonstration to show government we stand for youth in care. See our poster below, and the Facebook event here.

In 2017, each of BC’s three political parties made some commitments to improve youth policy. These promises need to be kept.


Take Action!


For youth with lived experience in care:

  • Join us for lunch with MLAs and policy officials to talk about changes you want on October 24 at 1PM.
  • Come to the September 30 planning session at the Musqueam Cultural Centre at 10-4PM. There’s a bus meeting at Commercial and Broadway that morning. RSVP and learn more on their site.
  • Meet with your MLA one-on-one. We can support you with an advocacy toolkit.

For everyone:

  • Join us for the public rally and demonstration at 3PM on October 24. If you need transportation and subsidies, we can provide help. We’re organizing a bus and ferry rides.

Please fill out this form if you want to come – we’ll contact you about transportation from Vancouver to Victoria (on us!) and RSVP for meals.

First Call moves with momentum from the Support the 700 campaign

Youth who have lived and aged out of foster or government care are an important part of this work, and are warmly invited to get involved today.

First Call also publishes As Word Spreads, a podcast hosted by youth in and from foster care in BC, to amplify their voices and issues of concern, and increase understanding of our province’s foster care system. Interested in joining the podcast as a host, guest or producer? Reach out by emailFacebook or Twitter today!

Don’t forget to check in regularly as this campaign grows and evolves!


Learn more

Opportunities in Transition, Fostering Change

What’s broken? and How do we fix it? journey maps, Collective Impact/McCreary Centre Society

Child Welfare and Youth Homelessness in Canada: A Proposal for Action, The Homeless Hub

Making Housing Central: An Affordable Housing Plan for BC, BC Non-Profit Housing Association

Striving for Permanence – Stories of Youth In and From Care, Speak-Out Youth Group/Adoptive Families Association of BC

Portraits of Connection, Housing Matters Media Project

Coming to Knowing: Study Circle Guide on Aging Out of Care in BC, Canadian Federation of University Women BC Council

2013 Adolescent Health Survey, McCreary Centre Society

YouthSpeak report 2016, Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks

First Year Report (2015-2016), Provincial Director of Child Welfare’s Youth Advisory Council/Ministry of Children and Family Development

Advocacy Achievements, The Mockingbird Society

Youth Advocacy Day Video 2011, The Mockingbird Society

25not21 campaign to extend foster care to age 25, 25not21/Manitoba

Indigenous Resilience, Connectedness and Reunification – From Root Causes to Root Solutions: A Report on Indigenous Child Welfare in British Columbia, Grand Chief Ed John/First Nations Summit