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).
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- 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 Grant of $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.
- “100% tuition support” will be offered at participating colleges and all publicly funded universities through a partnership with the Ministry of Colleges, Training and Universities (MTCU). Combination of Ontario Access Grant for Crown Wards (OAGCW) and top up by participating post-secondary institution to a maximum of $6000. Visit the OSAP website for list of participating colleges and universities, for more information: https://osap.gov.on.ca/OSAPPortal/en/A-ZListofAid/PRDR007414.html
Other supports for youth
- 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 Child Benefit Equivalent (OCBe) (2008)
- Designed to support tutoring, skill building, recreational and cultural program
- Additional support of OCBe savings for youth in care 15 to 17 yrs, accessible after age 18
- Mandatory financial literacy training
- For Crown Wards in post-secondary programs
- Must be eligible for Canada-Ontario Integrated Student Loan
Ontario Crown Ward Postsecondary Application Fee Reimbursement Program (2007)
- Intended to reimburse current and former Ontario Crown wards for eligible postsecondary application fees
- Not income-tested; no OSAP application required
Increase of the OSAP scholarship and bursary exemption for Crown wards
- Doubling the scholarship and bursary exemption for Crown wards from $1750 to $3500
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/breakingthecycle/report/index.aspx “Breaking the Cycle” page 14
OSAP Exemption of OCBe Savings (2009)
- Savings from OCBe not reported as assets or income on OSAP application
- Up to $3500 of eligible bursaries/scholarships exempted from OSAP assessment
Changes to OSAP (‘Strengthening Student Support’) (2010)
- Book/equipment/supply allowance adjusted for inflation
- New grant for part-time students
- Loan repayment enhancements
- Enhancements to loans and scholarships
Crown Ward Aftercare Benefits Initiative (2010)
- OACAS three-year pilot funded by Green Shield Canada for former Crown Wards, aged 21 to 23, to access Employee Assistance Plan type benefits, delivered through Shepell FGI.
- Full range of counselling services (including health & wellbeing, financial, legal and addiction counselling)
OSAP and ECM Allowances (2011)
- Effective 2011 – 2012 academic year ECM and the new Continued Care and Support for Youth allowances not treated as income in OSAP Needs Assessment