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Appendix: Youth Leaving Care

The ministry continued to develop initiatives in response to recommendations made in the Youth Leaving Care Working Group report, A Blueprint for Fundamental Change to Ontario's Child Welfare System, released in January 2013.

Monthly financial support for eligible youth leaving care aged 18 to 21 increased from $663/month to $850/month through the Continued Care and Support for Youth Program.

The Living and Learning Grant, launched in August 2013, provides $2,000 per semester ($500 per month) to youth leaving care aged 21 to 24 inclusive, enrolled in Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) eligible post-secondary education and training programs. The grant helps students cover their living costs.

Sixty Youth in Transition workers will help young people ages 16-24 leaving the care of a CAS secure local, affordable housing; find education and employment resources to help cover the cost of postsecondary education and training, or to find a job; identify skills training, such as financial literacy courses and meal planning; access health and mental health services; and locate legal services, including advice for youth in conflict with the law.

The new Aftercare Benefits Initiative will also help youth leaving the care of a CAS. Eligible young people ages 21-24 will have access to health and dental services, including prescription drugs, vision care and hearing aids; extended health services, such as physiotherapy, psychotherapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment; and additional benefits including therapy and counseling.

Bill 53, An Act to Proclaim Children and Youth in Care Day was unanimously passed in the Ontario Legislature. Designating May 14th as ‘Children and Youth in Care Day' was one of the recommendations made in My REAL Life Book, an insightful report released on May 14, 2012 by the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth that summarized the Youth Leaving Care Hearings held at Queen's Park in November 2011.

Appendix: Transition Planning

The ministry continued working with the ministries of Community and Social Services and Education to implement integrated transition planning processes for young people with developmental disabilities. This work is aimed at ensuring that every young person with a developmental disability has a single integrated transition plan that identifies the steps they need to take to attain their goals related to work, further education and living in the community. Implementation of integrated, tri-sector transition planning began in September 2013.