In my role as Minister of Children and Family Development, I’m constantly looking at ways to improve programs and develop new ones that ensure this vulnerable group of young people has access to the same opportunities as any other youth.
Two new measures announced last week will help to do just that.
We are proud to partner with ICBC and the Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks to help bring about the first of these programs – the Take the Wheel bursary. This bursary program, supported by $50,000 in funding from ICBC, will fund driver training for more than 50 youth in foster care and youth who have aged out of care.
The second of these programs – made possible through provincial partnerships with TELUS and IBM, will help ensure young adults leaving care are connected. By providing smart phones and plans to up to 1,000 current and former youth in care and lap top computers for 369 youth from care, this program will support young people in school and post-secondary training in our technology-based era.
These new programs complement recent local and provincial measures, including the Covenant House Vancouver mentorship program, the YWCA Strive program, web resources through AgedOut.com and the extension of the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program. Taken together, these recent improvements will support young adults in Surrey-Cloverdale and throughout B.C. – helping prepare our youth and our province for a bright future.