In its 2023 budget, the Government of Alberta is providing significant support to youth and young adults who are aging out of care.
The province announced Wednesday it is investing an additional $28 million to help those young people transition out of government care and build careers
The government is providing $25.6 million over the next three years for the Transition to Adulthood Program (TAP), which helps youth and young adults move from government care to lead successful, independent lives. The increase raises the TAP budget to $68 million for 2023-24.
According to a release, the province aims to help more youth and young adults aging out of government care continue to access the specialized, coordinated and consistent services they need for success. These services will help prepare them to live independently, pursue education, build their careers and maintain connections to people in their lives who can give them ongoing emotional support.
“Youth and young adults transitioning out of care deserve to have access to the same workplace opportunities and post-secondary paths as their peers,” said Mickey Amery, Minister of Children’s Services.
“My ministry is taking action to remove the barriers they face and invest in their future so they can chase their dreams and reach their full potential.”
An additional $2.5 million in government funding will help youth and young adults build a career in skill trades with training and education-related supports, such as worksite tours, mentorship programs, preparing for apprenticeship exams, career events, training, work placements and skills development.
The funding from Skilled Trades and Professions will support about 500 youth and young adults who want to build a career in the trades.
“Our government is working to ensure that youth in care have the opportunity to develop the skills, knowledge and competencies they need to enjoy fulfilling lives and careers,” added Kaycee Madu, Minister of Skilled Trades and Professions.
“I am proud of the work our government is doing to ensure youth transitioning out of care have the resources they need to enter a designated trade.”
The government noted a youth aging out of care in Canada will earn about $326,000 less over their lifetime compared with their peers. Pat Kynock, a 30-year foster parent to more than 50 children and youth agrees the funding will give those transitioning out of youth care a leg up.
“An investment like this can help save kids transitioning out of care,” Kynock said.
“They have gone through enough hardships in life and don’t have the same connections that their peers do. These additional supports would make a huge impact in the kids’ lives and help set them up for success.”