The Ministry of Child and Family Development has announced that youth in care will not age out of their services during the coronavirus pandemic – and those who have recently done so will continue to get extra assistance.

Even if the supported youth and young adults were set to age out, this means that those currently living in foster care, contracted residential agencies or with relatives through the extended family program will be able to stay where they currently are.

Current agreements are being modified by social workers so that youths’ living arrangements will be able to continue, even after they reach 19 years of age.

In a statement, the Ministry said that this extra stability and support for young people is necessary for the time being, as many may face housing, educational and employment uncertainty.

“During these uncertain times, youth deserve our steady, consistent support to help them through,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development.

“We don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks, so we’ve taken emergency steps to ensure young people in and from care can continue getting the services they count on.”

Those who are nearing the end of an Independent Living or Youth agreement will be given options allowing them to continue receiving monthly living expenses past their 19th birthday.

The Ministry of Child and Family Development will also work to locate young adults who may have recently aged out of care, and offer other available supports such as the B.C. Emergency Benefit for workers and the Federal Emergency Care Benefit.

Young adults between the ages of 19 and 27 who are enrolled in the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program will continue to receive financial support despite school closures and other training program interruptions caused by the current pandemic.

This will be a part of the recently unveiled $5 billion COVID-19 Action Plan, which looks to provide income supports and funding for people, businesses and services.

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