Ontario Helping Young People Prepare for Independence
Province Supporting New Supports for Youth in Care
Ontario is investing in new housing support workers across the province to help youth find and maintain a safe, stable and appropriate place to live.
The province is expanding the Youth-in-Transition Worker program to support 16- and 17-year-old youth who are voluntarily in the care of a children's aid society and wish to live independently. Beginning this year, 26 new housing support workers will be placed in agencies across the province and will provide services and supports to help youth successfully transition to adulthood.
25 agencies across the province will receive a new housing support worker, including agencies who serve diverse communities and LGBTQ2S youth. In addition, nine Indigenous agencies will offer housing support workers.Helping children and youth succeed is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
- The agencies will serve communities across the province including the Greater Toronto Area, Halton and Peel, Dufferin and Wellington, Waterloo, Niagara, Hamilton and Brant, Oxford, Bruce and Grey, Ottawa, Peterborough, Prince Edward and Northumberland, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, Thunder Bay, Kenora, Cochrane and Timiskaming, Nipissing and Parry Sound, Rainy River, Sudbury, Greater Sudbury and Algoma, and Manitoulin.
- On January 1st, 2018 Ontario increased the age of protection to include 16- and 17-year-olds. Many 16- and 17-year-olds who are eligible to enter into a voluntary agreement for services from a society may wish to live independently.
- The Housing Support Workers Program is an expansion to the Youth-in-Transition Worker program, which was established in response to recommendations from the National Youth Homelessness Survey 2016, and the Youth Leaving Care Blueprint, as well as the input from stakeholders such as the Ontario Child Advocate and youth in, and leaving, care.
“Introducing housing support workers responds to what youth have told us they need: more time and more support to better prepare for adulthood by staying in school, completing post-secondary education or finishing training.”