Category Archives: News

Youth Leaving Care by Waterloo

An enthusiastic group of youth from Family and Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region got together to create a video entitled ‘Youth Leaving Care’. The video captures the realities of being a youth in care facing the prospect of ‘aging out’ of the child welfare system. It is their attempt to add their voice to a provincial campaign advocating for additional supports for youth leaving care. For more information on how you can help please visit their website.


Also, see The Provincial Advocates Youth Leaving Care Hearings Report for more initiatives related to advocacy for youth in care issues.

Resources Supporting Youth in Transition

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  • Lost your wallet?
  • Need I.D?
  • Need some help to write a resume?
  • Looking for affordable housing listings?
  • Don’t know how to cook?
  • Looking for local community centres?
  • How do I apply for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)?
  • What scholarships are available for me?

All your answers can be found at Ontario YouthCAN’s Resources Supporting Youth in Transition!

YouthCAN has created a toolkit of resources for youth in care to better prepare themselves for the future!  These resources are excellent for youth or staff.

Some resources include Connections, Life Skills, Financial, Health, Accessibility, Housing, Employment, Education, and a One-Stop.

 Click here for more information!

Minister’s Statement in Response to Youth Leaving Care Report

Statement from Minister of Children and Youth Services On Youth Leaving Care Report

May 14, 2012 1:22 PM

Retrieved from

Today, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Children and Youth Services, released the following statement in response to the Youth Leaving Care Report:

“Earlier today, I was pleased to accept the report from the Youth Leaving Care Team – a courageous and talented group of young people committed to helping youth in care succeed when they leave the child welfare system.

I want to thank these youth, as well as the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, Irwin Elman, for their hard work.

The report that these youth have produced is without precedent. It is ground-breaking and it is brave. It draws from the real life and sometimes difficult experiences of current and former youth in the care of children’s aid societies.

During hearings held last fall at Queen’s Park, I heard loud and clear that youth in care feel left out of the decisions that affect them. They feel left out of their own lives. They need a stronger voice.

We owe these kids our sustained attention. But most of all, we owe them our respect. We owe them action.

That is why our government will begin working immediately to address their number one recommendation. I am directing my ministry to bring together a ministry working group as we move forward with improvements to the child welfare system. The working group will be made up of youth with experience living in care and partners from across the province – at both the government and children’s aid society levels.

I am also pleased that action is being taken on another recommendation in their report by my colleague, Teresa Piruzza, MPP for Windsor West, to designate the 14th of May each year as ‘Children and Youth in Care Day.’

I thank the Youth Leaving Care Team for their hard work and for their courage in making their voices heard. We know there is still more work to do. My ministry will carefully review each of the report’s recommendations to determine how we can further strengthen the child welfare system and help all children and youth in Ontario reach their full potential.”

Click here for more details.

Youth Leaving Care Hearings Report.


My REAL Life Book

The Youth Leaving Care Hearings were the first public hearings organized and run by young people at Queen’s Park, the home of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

The Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth partnered with dozens of volunteers — all young people in and from care — to hold hearings designed to address the issues faced by many of the 8,300 children and youth who are Crown Wards in Ontario.

On November 18th and 25th, 2011, children and youth from across the province spoke about their experiences and had the opportunity to help make changes. Professionals, families, and friends added their voices to help build understanding about what young people in care need to succeed as adults. Members of the Provincial Parliament, ministry staff, service providers and members of the public attended to listen and learn.

How it started

Irwin’s Story

In 2010, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, Irwin Elman, met with a group of young people through Family and Children’s Services of Guelph and Wellington County. They offered a number of great ideas on what they wanted to see change. Irwin was encouraged, but mentioned that the issues and ideas were similar to what he had been hearing since the 1980s. One of the youth paused, and then said “OK buddy, so what are you going to do about it now?”

This began a process that saw Irwin and his staff meet with other youth in and from care, including those living in group homes, foster homes and shelters, and attending YouthCAN events and meetings. They also met with 15 Ontario Ministers and Deputy Ministers, the Deputy Minister’s Council, and many other allied organizations. From all of these meetings, one message came forward – loud and clear – from the youth involved: “All of you have done your best, now it’s our turn.”

The idea of the Youth Leaving Care Hearings was born!

Why were the Hearings important?

The Province of Ontario is the legal guardian of some 8,300 youth and children living in various parts of the care system. When youth in care leave the system (or “age out”) beginning at 18, sometimes they have not been sufficiently supported to develop the skills and resources they need to live independently. Youth in and from care wanted the opportunity to bring their voices together and tell their stories about the challenges of leaving care to those that have the ability to make meaningful and positive change.

How will the Hearings make change?

By placing children and youth in and from care at the centre of this process and supporting them to share what worked and what didn’t work for them, the Hearings offered a new opportunity to move forward.

After the Hearings, youth read and analyzed all of the submissions and wrote a report.  The report, called My REAL Life Book, is being presented to the Ontario Legislature on May 14, 2012.

French Version PDF Download

English Version PDF Download

See what others are saying about the Youth Leaving Care Hearings: