Ontario Helping Young People Prepare for Independence
Ministry of Children and Youth Services
The Ontario province is investing in a new Aftercare Benefits Initiative. Starting this summer, eligible young people ages 21 to 24, who were previously in the care of a Children’s Aid Society, can access:
Health and dental services, including prescription drugs, vision care and hearing aids.
Extended health services, such as physiotherapy, psychotherapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment.
Additional benefits, including therapy and counselling.
Ontario is helping young people leaving the care of Children’s Aid Societies find the right supports and services by creating 50 Youth-in-Transition worker positions across the province.
The Youth-in-Transition workers will help young people ages 16 to 24 by:
Securing local affordable housing.
Finding education and employment resources to help cover the cost of postsecondary education and training, or to find a job.
Identifying skills training, such as financial literacy courses and meal planning.
Accessing health and mental health services like being connected with a family doctor and counselling.
Locating legal services, including advice for youth in the justice system.
Eating Disorder Awareness Week coming up in February, Bellwood Health Services is hosting a free public education evening in Toronto on February 18th, 2014: Unraveling the Mysteries of Eating Disorders.
Title: Unravelling the Mysteries of Eating Disorders
On January 18th 2014, YouthCAN Grand River Zone event was held in Brantford Ontario at the Woodland Cultural Center. Youth had a tour of the museum and learned about Aboriginal culture and history. They saw beautiful art pieces, tools, clothing, pottery, and beading. They also learned about the history of the Woodland people, specifically the Six Nations (Onondaga, Mohawk, Cayuga, Oneida, Seneca, and Tuscarora).
Following the tour, the group went to the “George” house, the CAS Brant’s drop in and resource center where they enjoyed a delicious homemade turkey for lunch and played team building activities.
Since 2007, numerous changes have been introduced. In addition to the community based Crown Ward Education Championship Teams, the following financial and service supports are now available for youth from CAS care. Please note that in order to qualify for most benefits youth must apply for Ontario Student Assistance Plan (OSAP).
Application fee reimbursement for youth applying for post-secondary education:: Ontario Crown Ward Postsecondary Application Fee Reimbursement Program (2007)
Tuition grants of up to 50% (for university) to 100% (for single year college) of tuition up to a maximum of $3,000 per academic year for a maximum of four years: Ontario Access Grant for Crown Wards (OAGCW) (2007). This grant is based on financial eligibility.
Special OSAP exemptions for non-merit scholarships and bursaries for Crown wards, up to $3,500.
OCBe savings, provided to youth 18 years old, were not intended to offset educational costs, nor are they to be treated as income or assets in applying for OSAP, up to $3000 (please refer to MCYS directive).
Universal changes to OSAP, allowing increased earnings, more financial assistance, extended repayment schedules Strengthening Student Support in Ontario (2010) Some programs (e.g. book allowance) have been scaled back to fund the tuition fee reduction announced on January 3, 2012.
Ontario Tuition Grant (OTG) or fee reduction (announced as “the New 30% off tuition”) effective January 3, 2012 which provides tuition fee rebates to eligible students. This 30% cannot be added to any other tuition reduction (such as the Ontario Access Grant for Crown Ward Program)
Continued Care and Support for Youth and Extended Care and Maintenance (ECM) allowances are not treated as income for purposes of OSAP needs assessment, meaning that youth may keep full allowance and qualify for more financial assistance through OSAP. (Giving more kids a place to call home: September 2011) For more information, see CCSY Fact Sheet (ENG) and CCSY Fact Sheet (FRE)
Learning Living Grantof $500 per academic month for youth ages 21-24 inclusive who are registered in an OSAP eligible college or university. This is in addition to other grants and is to assist students transitioning out of care. (2013) Students must apply for this grant by visiting the OSAP website and submit before the deadline. To apply, click here.
Legislative change to allow youth whose court-ordered care was terminated at age 16 or 17 to return to CAS for financial and non-financial supports to age 21 Renewed Youth Supports (RYS)(2011)
OACAS three-year pilot project funded by Green Shield Canada for former Crown Wards, aged 21 to 23, to access Employee Assistance Plan-type benefits, delivered through Shepell FGI. 24-7 access to health & wellbeing, financial, legal and addiction counselling. Crown Ward Aftercare Benefits Initiative (2010)
New Continued Care and Support for Youth (CCSY) program came into effect May 15th and replaces Extended Care and Maintenance (ECM). It is a strength-based model. Youth sign a CCSY Agreement and complete a “Youth Plan” also. Youth receiving financial and other supports through CCSY is not contingent on them reaching their goals as outlined in the “Youth Plan”. For more information, see CCSY Fact Sheet (ENG) and CCSY Fact Sheet (FRE) or please contact the Ministry of Children and Youth Services for more information.
Crown Ward Aftercare Benefits Program is a pilot project funded by Greenshield Canada’s Social Surplus Fund and administered by Sheppell-FGI. The program offers counselling and other EAP type supports for youth transitioning out of care. Youth who turned 21 in 2011 or 2012 are eligible to access the program until their 23rd birthday. For more information visit www.oacas.org/crownward.
Ontario to create Centre of Excellence for Online Learning – making college and university more accessible
Launching in time for the 2015-16 academic year, the online hub will allow students to take state-of-the-art courses that are centralized and transferrable, reducing duplication and promoting collaboration amongst post-secondary institutions in the province. Ontario is investing $42 million over three years to develop the Centre of Excellence for Online Learning.
The Young Canada Works program in both official languages provides grants to employers who want to hire students for summer positions. The program can cover 50% of the student’s salary if you are a private company, and up to 70% of the salary if you are a not-for-profit organization.
The program has several purposes and one of them is to familiarize students with a different region in Canada as well as to provide a work experience in both official languages. For this reason, the students must be willing to travel to a location that is at least 125km away from their permanent place of residence for the position. The program also covers part of the students’ transportation costs between their usual place of residence and their new location (this is a roundtrip train or plane ticket, or the mileage). Moreover, we offer an hourly wage increase of $1.35 to help students finance their housing at the new location (there are some restrictions in the allocation of the salary increase).
The Young Canada Works program aims at developing the practice of both official languages among students, more specifically the practice of their second official language. In this regard, the program encourages the organizations and companies positioned within official language minority or rural communities to apply.
For detailed eligibility criteria of Young Canada Works program, click below for versions in English and French.
www.getpluggedin.ca – provides links to different ways for youth to get involved in their communities and different activities. An initiative of Ophea which is a not-for-profit organization that champions healthy, active living in schools and communities through quality programs and services, partnerships and advocacy, and is led by the vision that all children and youth value and enjoy the lifelong benefits of healthy, active living. It is also funded by the province.
dans vos réseaux et avec d’autres jeunes leaders #YOFatOTF
Le Fonds Perspectives Jeunesse accorde des subventions et offre un soutien en vue de renforcer les capacités des organismes communautaires, venant en aide aux jeunes qui font face à de multiples obstacles.
Le programme permettra de mobiliser les jeunes qui font partie des Premières nations, Inuits ou Métis, qui sont racialisés, immigrants récents, LGBTTQ ou qui ont des besoins spéciaux.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario.
La Fondation Trillium de l’Ontario est un organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario. www.otf.ca
On October 18 2013, thanks to Youth Champions from Sarnia Lambton Children’s Aid Society, hosted an awesome 2 day Southwest zone event! They spent an evening relaxing at the Draw Bridge Inn, famous for a indoor pool with a 95 foot slide! The group of Youth Champions from 9 different agencies and youth leaders engaged in fun icebreakers and team building activities. The YMCA Leadership centre reflected strong youth leadership, teamwork, personal development, skill building, learning, and definitely fun activities despite the rainy weather conditions. This group of youth were amazing, they got along very well together, and were supportive and encouraging of each other.
Thank you everyone for volunteering the time and making this possible for the young leaders to network and connect with each other. The next Southwest zone event is scheduled for March 2013 with the Peer Power group to continue building on the leadership skills.