Monday, October 1, 2012
Child and Youth Advocate launches consultations on youth leaving care
Youth aged 17 to 21 who are currently receiving services under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and are interested in talking about their experiences of leaving government care, are invited to any of 15 consultations being held in urban, rural and Aboriginal communities across the province. Youth will be asked about the challenges they face and also about what has worked well for them in their transition to independence.
Information gathered from the focus groups will form the basis of a Special Report that will be released by the Child and Youth Advocate. The report, which will be shared with the Government of Alberta, will provide recommendations on how to best support youth leaving or aging out of care.
“This is a great opportunity for Alberta’s youth to have their voices heard and to help improve the system, said Del Graff, Provincial Child and Youth Advocate. “When these young people eventually leave government care it is important for them to be prepared for their life as an adult.”
Research shows that young people who leave care before or on their 18th birthday are more likely to leave school, experience homelessness, be at a higher risk for substance misuse, and be unemployed compared to youth who have the continued support from others.
The Child and Youth Advocate has the authority under the Child and Youth Advocate Act to complete Special Reports on issues impacting children and youth who are receiving designated government services.
Youth, stakeholders and front-line staff can also provide feedback by filling out an online survey. Information on dates, times, and locations of the focus groups and the online survey can be found here: alberta.ca/advocate.
One such focus group will be held by the Lethbridge YWCA on October 29, with a specific location and time to be announced soon.
The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate is an independent Office of the Legislature, representing the rights, interests and viewpoints of young people receiving designated government services.