Fostering Change


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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.

 

Join the Youth Advocacy Team

Youth from care are experts on fixing policy and changing the practices to better the system. It’s why we’re assembling a team of incredible advocates with experience in the care system, supported by many of our allies. We’ll gain important political advocacy skills through professional, state of the art training and resources that will help us be strong catalysts for change. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis: sign one if you’re interested and a team member will be in touch.

Reach out to dylan@firstcallbc.org if you have any thoughts and ideas to pass along.

Find out more information about the Youth Advocacy Team and how to join.

 

The Campaign

First Call wants to see better policies that help every youth from care thrive. On October 24, 2017, First Call partnered with the Vancouver Foundation’s Fostering Change initiative to host a Youth Policy Solutions Day lunch with youth from care, allied supporters and MLAs. Youth presented their policy brief to government with recommendations for change.

That afternoon, a crowd of 200 youth and adult allies held a public rally outside the BC legislature to show government we stand for youth in care. See the videos and photos of the lunch and public rally on Facebook. Minister of Children and Family Development Katrine Conroy and BC Representative for Children and Youth Bernard Richard spoke at the rally. Premier John Horgan was among the many adult allies who gathered in support.

Read our final report on Youth Policy Solutions Day.

In 2017, each of BC’s three political parties made some commitments to improve supports for youth transitioning out of government care. These promises need to be kept.

Take Action!

Check out the research and advocacy from the Fostering Change initiative, including which MLAs signed the Support the 700 pledge during the last election and sign the Write the Future petition.

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

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

Supporting youth ‘aging out’ of care in British Columbia: Recommendations for change and extended support, First Call and youth policy leaders

B.C. foster kids benefit from Vancouver Foundation’s foresight, Georgia Straight

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