Supporting Youth in Education

Research tells us that educational outcomes are a major predictor of outcomes for children and youth. Giving youth the opportunity to put their best foot forward in life is what any good parent should do. The resources below will help you to support children and youth to attain their educational goals and be successful later in life.  There are many additional Educational resources on the corresponding Youth page.

List of Current Youth Post-Secondary Supports in Ontario

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). Click here to view a FAQ tip sheet from the Ministry.

OACAS Education Tips and Supports

Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies highlight some current supports available for youth in and from care with concrete ideas for improving their opportunities to succeed in school and maximize their academic potential.  Click here to view PDF.

Who will teach me to learn?
2001 The National Youth In Care Network
Facilitated by youth in care themselves, this unique qualitative research study examined the educational needs of youth. Based on research that showed youth in care don’t do as well as their counterparts, the youth facilitators led focus groups to examine the educational experiences of youth in care and made recommendations related to stability, educational empowerment, and resources.

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
OSAP is an integrated provincial and federal government program that provides financial aid to postsecondary students with limited financial resources. Through OSAP, eligible students can receive grants and bursaries, as well as repayable loans to help pay for college or university. Students with specific needs may be considered for additional non-repayable assistance. For example: If you’re the first in your family to go to a post-secondary school, if you’re an Indigenous person, if you’re a current or former Crown Ward, or if you are a person with a permanent disability.  OSAP applications can be completed online (Ontario.ca/OSAP).  You are not required to report on your OSAP application any savings provided to you from your CAS under the Ontario Child Benefit Equivalent program, nor your Extended Care and Maintenance allowance as income during your study period.

Starting in 2017-18, OSAP is changing. Visit the OSAP website for more information to find out what these changes could mean for you. You can also find out how much you may be eligible for from the new OSAP aid tool.   (En français)

Ontario Access Grant for Crown Wards
When you complete an OSAP Application for Full-Time Students and identify your Crown Ward status, you are considered for additional funding. Starting in 2017-18, OSAP is changing. Many existing provincial grants, including the grants for Crown Wards, are being replaced by a single, more generous, up-front grant. Students currently eligible to receive the existing Crown Wards grants will receive an equal or greater amount of grant funding through the new OSAP.  (En français)

Ontario Student Opportunity Grant
This grant may be awarded to help reduce your student debt load.  The amount awarded will be dependent upon the length of your program and the amount of OSAP that you receive.  You do not apply for this grant; however, you must file your tax return.  The grant is paid directly to the National Student Loans Service Centre (the organization that manages student loans) to reduce your loan amount. Starting in 2017-18, OSAP is changing. Many existing provincial grants, including the Ontario Student Opportunity Grant, are being replaced a single, more generous, up-front grant. The new Ontario Student Grant will also ensure that your total student debt load is reduced similar to the Ontario Student Opportunity Grant (En français)

Ontario Colleges
The Ontario Colleges website can help youth make a plan to attend one of Ontario’s 28 colleges and find an educational program that is a good fit for their skill set. Youth can apply online to five colleges, and even confirm their offer of acceptance via the website. (En français)

Ontario Universities’ Application Centre
If you are applying to an Ontario University, your application must go through the OUAC. The OUAC processes applications for all under- and post-graduate University programs in Ontario. There is a different application form depending on whether you are a current high school student or if you are any other type of undergraduate applicant. (En français)

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program
The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) is a school-to-work transition program offered through Ontario secondary schools. Full-time students in Grades 11 and 12 earn cooperative education credits through work placements in skilled trades. To learn more about OYAP, contact your local high school guidance counsellor, your co-op education teacher or the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program Coordinator for your school board. (En français)

Youth in Transition Survey (YITS)
2011 Statistics Canada
This project is a longitudinal survey undertaken jointly by Statistics Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Implemented in 2000, the biennial survey examines the major transitions in the lives of 15-year-old youth, particularly between education, training and work. (En français)

Transition Planning for Students with Learning Disabilities
This Resource Guide from the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario can help youth to identify their needs and available resources at the post-secondary school of their choice.  It can also help youth to plan and prepare what s/he will need for the application and admissions process.  Working through this document with the youth and his/her your guidance counsellor at school will help to ensure that s/he will have an easy transition to college or university.

Our Dreams Matter Too – First Nations children’s rights, lives and education
This report examines the state of First Nations schools and education funding in Canada, highlighting the inequities for First Nations children versus their general population counterparts.  The report was presented to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2011.

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