Ontario government issues moratorium on youth aging out of care during pandemic

Ontario premier-designate Doug Ford during his election victory June 7, 2018. Photo: Doug Ford Twitter

Premier Doug Ford. File photo.

The Ontario government confirmed to APTN News it will not allow youth to age out of the child welfare system during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning they will continue to receive financial support.

The news comes just a few hours after APTN directly asked Premier Doug Ford during a media conference Thursday if he would call a moratorium.

Ford wouldn’t commit.

That’s all changed.

“We have officially filed a regulation so that throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, no youth in care or former youth in care in Ontario will age out of the supports and services they are currently receiving through children’s aid societies,” said Hannah Anderson, spokesperson for Jill Dunlop, the associate minister of children and women’s issues.

“No young person should be worried about losing their support system in this situation. Our government has taken decisive action to keep this from happening.”

Anderson said the moratorium was being “communicated to CASs across the province.”

APTN has been asking the Ontario government since Monday if it was going to halt children 18-21 from aging out care.

It began by saying it was working to implement a solution, yet stopped short of saying it will seek a moratorium. On Tuesday it said a solution means access to supports and resources youth need, but, again, wouldn’t call for a halt of kids losing their supports.

Supports can range from monthly funding to housing. Advocates were concerned youth would end up on the streets if supports ended.

Here is some background information on what the regulation means based on what the province sent APTN:

– If you are currently in children’s aid society care, or in a customary care arrangement, and you are about to turn 18, you will continue to receive the same level of support you are receiving now throughout the outbreak.

– If you are currently receiving services through a voluntary youth services agreement, and you are about to turn 18, you will continue to receive the same level of support you are receiving now throughout the outbreak.

– If you are currently receiving support through the continued care and support for youth program, and you are about to turn 21, you will continue to receive the same level of support you are receiving now throughout the outbreak

 

 

Producer Nation to Nation - Ottawa

Ken is an award-winning investigative journalist with a decade of reporting experience who played a key role in breaking the Bruce Carson story on APTN in 2011 which led to an award from the Canadian Association of Journalists. Ken has worked out of APTN’s Ottawa bureau since October 2012.