Foster care and education in BC

Foster youth gather for a party to talk about turning 19. PHOTO – STEVE BOSCH / PNG

Foster youth gather for a party to talk about turning 19.

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun
Level 3

Who graduates from high school in BC?
About 80 percent of kids graduate from high school.

Only 32 percent of kids in foster care graduate from high school.

How long do young people get help from their parents?
Many young people live with their parents until they are 25 years old. They often live at home while they go to college or university.

Youth in foster care must leave their foster parents at age 19. The province stops paying for their care.
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Listen to these former foster kids tell their stories:

Foster-kids-cover-graph-graduates2What happens to foster kids after age 19?
Many youth in foster care are still in high school at age 19. They often have to stop going to school to get a job.

It is difficult to get back to school or other training. They are too busy. They must pay for their own living expenses.

Former foster kids live in cheap housing. Some live on the streets. They often suffer from poor health.

Should foster kids stay in foster care until age 21?
In Ontario, youth can stay in foster care until they are 21.

Joan McIntyre is a Liberal MLA in British Columbia. She chaired the government youth committee. She thinks foster kids should stay in foster homes until age 21.  She thinks more support is needed until age 25.

Mark Sieben is the deputy minister for the Ministry of Children and Family Development. He disagrees with McIntyre. Sieben says the province should improve how youth access government and non-profit support programs.