Policy Directive: CW 001-18 Continued Care and Support for Youth

This policy directive, under s. 42 of the Child Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA), replaces Policy Directive CW 004-16 Continued Care and Support for Youth dated June 15, 2016.

Effective Date

This policy directive will come into effect on the day on which section 1 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 comes into force. As of this date, Policy Directive CW 004-16 Continued Care and Support for Youth, dated June 15, 2016, is no longer in effect.

The intent of this policy directive is to provide direction to children's aid societies (societies) on the provision of supports, including financial assistance, under section 124 of the CYFSA and the regulation made under the CYFSA entitled "General Matters Under the Authority of the Minister" (the Regulation), to eligible youth[1] based on their individual needs and aspirations to enable them to transition smoothly to adulthood.

Youth leaving the care of a society or customary care are more likely to achieve improved outcomes when they are provided with supports and guidance. This policy sets out a youth-centred, strengths-based program that outlines the parameters within which societies are expected to continue working with youth beyond their 18th birthday. Societies will provide supports and guidance that will assist youth to achieve physical and emotional wellbeing, acquire basic life management skills and develop social networks that include connections to caring adults and the community.

Societies are required to offer the Continued Care and Support for Youth (CCSY) program to all eligible youth.

The legislative requirements with respect to the CCSY program are set out in s. 124 of the CYFSA and the Regulation.

Requirements

Two documents are required for each youth participating in the CCSY program:

  • A CCSY agreement between the society and youth that sets out the roles and responsibilities of each party in the provision and receipt of financial and/or non-financial supports.
  • A plan for the youth ("Youth Plan") that is developed and updated regularly by the society worker and youth that includes the youth's goals and actions to meet those goals.

Continued Care and Support for Youth (CCSY) Agreement

  1. A society is required to enter into an agreement with each eligible youth, to whom they will provide CCSY supports. The society must use the standard CCSY agreement template (see Appendix A: Continued Care and Support for Youth Standard Agreement).
  2. A society is required to engage with youth on an agreement prior to the expiry of their court order, customary care agreement, or Voluntary Youth Services Agreement (VYSA) (e.g. 3-6 months prior to the youth's 18th birthday).
  3. The agreement must be signed by the youth, the society worker and approved by the local director (or designate). The society worker shall provide a copy of the signed agreement to the youth, and document in the youth's file that the youth received a copy of the signed agreement.
  4. The continuation of an agreement is not contingent on whether the youth meets his or her goals as stated in the Youth Plan

Youth Plan

  1. The society worker and youth shall meet to develop a Youth Plan that is based on the youth's individual strengths, needs and goals. The society worker shall consider, at minimum, the following areas in the planning:
    • Permanent Relationships;
    • Community Connections;
    • Health and Well-Being;
    • Housing;
    • Education/Employment;
    • Life Management Skills/Personal Development; and
    • Identity.
      In developing these plans, society workers are encouraged to work with the youth, where possible, to develop a budget as part of their plan to reinforce and enhance their financial literacy skills.
  1. The Youth Plan must include the financial and/or other supports that will be provided to the youth.
  2. The initial Youth Plan is to be finalized within thirty days of the CCSY agreement being signed.
  3. The society worker and youth shall review the Youth Plan together, either in person or by other means, at least once every three months to discuss the youth's progress towards meeting his or her goals and to address any challenges that the youth has identified. The society worker shall document these discussions in the youth's file. The society worker and the youth shall update the Youth Plan at least once every 12 months or earlier if necessary or requested by the youth.
  4. Each Youth Plan (initial and updated) shall be signed by the youth, society worker, and local director (or designate). The society shall provide a copy of the signed plan to the youth, and upon consent of the youth, to other participants involved in the development or implementation of the plan. For each Youth Plan, the society worker shall document in the youth's file that the youth received a copy of the plan.
  5. The society shall prepare a closing summary for each youth at the end of his or her participation in the CCSY program, which is to be included in the final Youth Plan. The closing summary shall be informed by the youth and include the youth's status with respect to each of the key areas identified in Requirement #4.

Provision of Supports to Youth

  1. Provisions of supports to youth are outlined in the Regulation. For greater certainty, where an eligible youth is residing outside of Ontario and wishes to remain in a CCSY agreement, the youth will continue to receive supports, including financial supports.

Termination of CCSY Agreements

  1. Where an agreement is being terminated by the youth, notice must be given to the society. The agreement then remains in effect for a notice period of three months from the date notice was received.
  2. The society shall continue to provide the supports set out in the agreement and youth plan to the youth during the notice period. Societies shall document in the youth's file the youth's reason for terminating the agreement and the efforts made to locate or engage the youth prior to the termination of the agreement.
  3. Where a society ceases to provide financial supports in accordance with the Regulation, the society shall resume payment of financial support to the eligible youth when the youth resumes contact with the society.
  4. Where a youth's caregiver is no longer receiving a targeted subsidy or financial assistance through the Stay Home for School Policy, and the youth is still eligible for CCSY, a new CCSY agreement should be developed to reflect this change.
  5. Where a youth is no longer receiving support under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 or the Ontario Works Act, 1997, a new CCSY agreement should be developed to reflect this change.

Dispute Resolution

  1. Each society shall ensure that its dispute resolution process addresses complaints brought forward by youth, including situations where the society is ceasing financial supports, or changing the level of financial and non-financial supports provided to a youth. Each society shall provide written information on its dispute resolution process to youth upon signing the agreement and in circumstances where the society intends to terminate the agreement with the youth, where the youth can be located.
  2. The society shall give the youth information on its complaints process when the youth signs the CCSY agreement, upon renewal of the agreement, or at any time when the youth expresses dissatisfaction with service.

Documents and Information

  1. The society shall ensure that upon signing a CCSY Agreement a youth is provided with:
    • A copy of the signed agreement;
    • A copy of the signed Stay Home for School Agreement (the agreement template is appended to the 2016 Ontario Permanency Funding Policy Guidelines), where applicable;
    • A copy of the youth's initial and updated Youth Plans; and
    • Written information about CCSY.

Reporting

  1. The society shall report CCSY aggregate data to the ministry as required by the ministry.

This Policy Directive will come into effect on the day which section 1 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 comes into force.

Original signed by:

Jennifer Morris
Assistant Deputy Minister (A)
Policy Development and Program Design Division
Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Nadia Cornacchia
Assistant Deputy Minister
Service Delivery Division
Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Appendix A

Continued Care And Support For Youth*
Standard Agreement Template

This is only a sample of the Continued Care And Support For Youth*Standard Agreement Template and is not a functional document.

This is an agreement made on the ___________ day of _________________________, 20_____ BETWEEN __________________________________________________________________________ Name of Youth (hereafter "youth") AND _________________________________________________________________________ Name of Children's Aid Society or Indigenous Society (hereafter "society")

For the provision of supports to be provided by the society to the youth for a period not exceeding twelve (12) months starting ____________________________ and ending ___________________________, unless either party terminates this agreement prior to the end date.

Eligible youth may receive CCSY supports from a society for up to twelve month periods, which may be renewed up to and including the day prior to the youth's 21st birthday.

Ongoing Caregiver Arrangements

Please indicate if any of the below circumstances apply to the youth:

☐ Youth is living with a caregiver who is receiving financial assistance under the Stay Home for School Policy (2016 Ontario Permanency Funding Policy Guidelines)

☐ Youth is living with a caregiver who is receiving a targeted subsidy (2016 Ontario Permanency Funding Policy Guidelines)

☐ Youth is receiving basic financial assistance under the Ontario Works Act, 1997

☐ Youth is receiving income support under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997

The society and youth agree to the following terms:

  1. Youth Plan

    The youth and society worker will meet to finalize the Youth Plan within thirty (30) days of the start date of the CCSY agreement. The youth and society worker will meet either in person or by electronic means at least once every three (3) months to discuss the Youth's Plan.
    The continuation of this agreement is not contingent on whether the youth meets his or her goals as stated in the Youth Plan.

  2. Provision of Supports

    The society will provide the youth with financial and/or other supports as set out in the Regulation, the Youth's Plan and in accordance with the requirements set out in the Regulation.
  3. A society shall not provide financial support to the youth under the following circumstances:

    1. Receiving financial assistance under the Ontario Works Act, 1997.
    2. Receiving income support under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997.
    3. Living with a caregiver who is receiving a targeted subsidy from a society.
    4. Living with a caregiver who is receiving financial assistance under the Stay Home for School Policy.

    In any of these circumstances, the society must provide the youth with other non-financial supports through the CCSY program.

    A society may cease providing financial supports if they have made reasonable efforts to contact the youth without success for a period of three months. Upon reengaging with the society, financial support will resume and be provided retroactively, where the youth continued to meet eligibility requirements.

    Where a youth's caregiver is receiving financial assistance under the Stay Home for School Policy (2016 Ontario Permanency Funding Policy Guidelines), the youth and the caregiver will review and sign a Stay Home for School Agreement.

  4. Termination of Agreement

    The CCSY agreement will remain in effect for the term stated above unless action is taken by the youth to terminate the agreement.
  5. This agreement may be terminated by the youth upon giving notice to the society. The society will continue to provide the youth with the same level of supports for a period of 3 months commencing on the date that the written notice was received by the society.

    Where a youth's caregiver is no longer receiving a targeted subsidy or financial assistance through the Stay Home for School Policy, a new CCSY agreement should be developed to reflect this change.

    Where a youth is no longer receiving support under the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997 or the Ontario Works Act, 1997, a new CCSY agreement should be developed to reflect this change.

  6. Complaints Process

    If the youth is unable to resolve an issue with the society worker, the youth may bring forward a complaint to the society as set out in the society's complaints process.

  7. Documents and Information

    The society will provide the youth with:
    • A copy of the signed CCSY agreement;
    • A copy of the Youth Plan and any updates to the Youth Plan (if applicable);
    • Written information about the CCSY program;
    • A copy of the Stay Home for School Agreement for those youth whose caregivers are receiving financial assistance under the Stay Home for School Policy (2016 Ontario Permanency Funding Policy Guidelines); and
    • Written information about the society's complaints process.

  8. Renewal of Agreement

    The society shall offer a renewal of agreement prior to the expiry of this agreement, provided the youth remains eligible for CCSY supports. This renewal is to provide that the start date of the renewed agreement immediately follows the end date of the previous agreement, and the youth remains eligible for CCSY supports.
  9. If a youth has previously terminated an agreement or let a previous agreement expire, they may enter into a new agreement with the society provided the youth remains eligible for CCSY supports.

The undersigned hereby agree to the terms outlined in this agreement:

_________________________________________ ____________________________ (Signature of youth) (Date) __________________________________________ ____________________________ (Signature of society worker) (Date) __________________________________________ ____________________________ (Signature of local director or designate) (Date)

Appendix B

Provision of Financial Supports to Youth who are Party to a Continued Care and Supports to Youth (CCSY) Agreement

April 2018

Pursuant to Policy Directive CW 001-18 Continued Care and Support for Youth, societies shall provide financial supports under a CCSY agreement, at the following rates:

  1. Where financial supports are to be provided directly to or on behalf of youth, the monthly payment to be provided is set at $850.
  2. Where monthly payments are to be provided to enable a youth to remain with their current caregiver(s), where it is in their best interests, pursuant to the regulation made under the CYFSA entitled "General Matters Under the Authority of the Minister", the society may provide supports to the caregiver(s) and/or to the youth. The sum total of these supports shall not be less than the monthly rate of $850.
  3. The monthly payments to caregiver(s) for this alternate arrangement are separate and distinct from the financial assistance provided to eligible caregivers under the Stay Home for School Policy and through Targeted Subsidies. Neither the caregiver(s) who are receiving a targeted subsidy, or financial assistance under the Stay Home for School Policy, nor the youth they are supporting, are eligible to receive financial supports as part of CCSY.

Footnotes

[1] For the purposes of this directive, a person who is 18 or older and under the age of 21 is defined as a "youth".

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