Mayors join finance minister to discuss, share feedback on landmark tax

Expanded eligibility, new supports available for current, former youth in care

April 4, 2024 at 12:36 pm  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

With an expansion of eligibility criteria, more than 9,000 current and former youth in care will have access to essential financial, housing, educational, medical and cultural supports.  

Effective Thursday, April 4, 2024, expanded eligibility for the Strengthening Abilities and Journeys of Empowerment program, or SAJE, means supports are available to thousands more young adults. SAJE now includes young adults from any legal care status, including those in kinship care, and those who have spent 24 or more cumulative months in care, even if they are no longer in care when they turn 19. It also includes those who were adopted or permanently placed while in care and those in comparable statuses under Indigenous law.

“Many young people continue to receive help and financial support from their families after they turn 19 and it’s our responsibility to provide this same support to youth as they leave care,” said Grace Lore, Minister of Children and Family Development. “New income supports and expanding eligibility means even more young people will have access to continuous support as they begin their journey into adulthood.”

In addition to increasing the number of young adults eligible for support, a new unconditional income support of $1,250 per month is now available to former youth in care from age 19 to 20 to assist with living costs, such as groceries, daily travel expenses and rent. The $1,250 unconditional income support will help young adults from care achieve their goals and prevent the experience of homelessness and poverty, which former youth in care experience at significantly higher rates. Once a young adult turns 20, they can choose to maintain the monthly payments until the age of 27 by participating in eligible programming, such as post-secondary education, life skills, rehabilitative, cultural or vocational training.  

“Former youth in care are at high risk for homelessness,” said Soh Williams, member, Provincial Director of Child Welfare’s Youth Advisory Council. “The expanded SAJE eligibility and the new unconditional income support means that vulnerable youth can have access to stable housing and the opportunities they need to succeed.”

The income support is part of a broad suite of services available through the SAJE program. By increasing their financial stability, access to mental-health care, opportunities for cultural connections and housing security, youth who have been in the care of the ministry, community or family members will be better supported and cared for into adulthood. The SAJE program was designed with guidance from current and former youth in care.

“We are very glad to see the much-awaited eligibility expansion for youth transitioning out of care. Those supports and more are desperately needed,” said Katisha Paul, youth representative, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. “I hold up my hands to the youth and communities who have worked so hard in their advocacy to bring these changes about.”

Learn More:

To find out more about improved supports for youth transitioning from care, visit: https://www.gov.bc.ca/SAJE

Two backgrounders follow.

View the full article from the original source

No conversations yet

Activity Stream

Thu, Jun 20, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Industries in denial: From burning cigarettes to a burning planet
Thu, Jun 13, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: The undeniable economic case for climate action
Thu, Jun 6, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Ignoring climate crisis won’t make it disappear
Thu, May 30, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: False balance favours industry over wildlife
Thu, May 23, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: The buzz on wild bees versus honeybees
Thu, May 16, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: High hopes for hemp? – David Suzuki Foundation
Thu, May 9, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: Profit obsession inflames environmental racism
Thu, May 2, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: LawnShare helps create vibrant, biodiverse havens
Thu, Apr 25, 2024 at 8:00 am - David Suzuki posted on their blog: The dry facts about increasing water scarcity
Full Stream