In British Columbia, when a youth in government care turns 19 years old they often lose access to essential support services, such as their housing, social worker, mental health services, and financial support. Youth age out of care, whether they are ready or not – at an age that is often already challenging and stressful. Due to the unprecedented times we are living in, youth in BC have just been granted a reprieve from aging out of care. This is an encouraging step in the right direction, although at this time it is a temporary shift. We must continue to highlight the various challenges, barriers, and trauma youth aging out often face. Why? Aging out of care without appropriate supports in place is often cited as a risk factor that leads to experiences of youth homelessness. We especially know this through the youth we serve. It is also often stated that only 28% of people know that youth age out of government care after their 19th birthday. So, now until June 31st, we will be bringing awareness to the challenges youth in care are exposed to when aging out. We look forward to highlighting stories of lived experience, articles, research, and stats on our social media pages. This year, we will also be sharing local Indigenous organizations and the incredible work they are doing in our community with youth. We can’t discuss aging out of care without highlighting that Indigenous youth are over represented in the child welfare system due to ongoing legacy of colonialism. Join us and help us spread the word by sharing our posts! #ReadyOrNotAgingOutOfCare

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