Yesterday, First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition held a rally and met with representatives of the new NDP government in Victoria. Former youth in care and organizer, Dylan Cohen who is 22 and a former youth in care, stated that he felt heard in the meeting that included the new MCFD Minister – Katrine Conroy and Premier John Horgan.
First Call is bringing it’s voice and advocacy to the issue of youth aging out of foster care without any supports in place. Most youth in the province, not in care, have a safety net they can fall back on with their parents. Conroy acknowledges that as a parent she still supported her children after they turned 19, “I didn’t say…see you later.” She went on and added: “As a government, we are the parents of kids in care and can’t do that either. We have to show we can be good parents and that’s what I’m committed to doing.”
First Call’s recommendations state that “youth aging out of foster care should be able to count on three things until their 26th birthdays: consistent financial support (housing, transit and food), long-term relationships with dependable adults, and a chance to connect and contribute to their communities.” Cohen has also stated that while the tuition waver for former foster children is a great thing they should remove impediments that curtail access to the program.
Check out the article in the Times Colonist.