In addition to information about the recent CFSA amendments permitting CASs to provide additional supports to youth in care through the Extended Care and Maintenance program, we have assembled here a number of supportive resources and programs for youth transitioning to adulthood in Ontario.
The Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) published the 2013 Child Welfare Report, providing recommendations to the government to help improve and advance child welfare in Ontario. The priorities speak specifically to the recommendations arising from the report of the Commission for Sustainable Child Welfare, Realizing a Sustainable Child Welfare System in Ontario, and signal recommendations to help the sector move forward in the areas of sustainability and modernization.
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 and Shepell fgi Crown Ward Aftercare Benefits Program
The Shepell fgi Aftercare Benefits Program provides support for issues ranging from personal and emotional difficulties, to developing life goals, money management and nutrition concerns. The Program provides timely, professional short-term counselling and support at no cost to eligible youth who are transitioning to adulthood and are no longer in CAS care.
Ontario Child Benefit Equivalent Act 2009
The Ontario Child Benefit Equivalent helps children and youth in the care of children’s aid societies to achieve higher educational achievements, resiliency and a smoother transition to adulthood by supporting their participation in educational, cultural and recreational programs and by providing savings they can use when they reach age 18. Savings from the Ontario Child Benefit Equivalent will not reduce the OSAP loans available to Crown wards.
Ontario Child Benefit Equivalent Pooled Fund Policy Directive
In 2009, the MCYS laid out a number of requirements for CASs administering the new OCBe pooled fund for youth in care. The requirements are laid out in policy directive CW 002-08.