Tuesday March 14, 2023 | NANAIMO, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
An announcement that will benefit former youth in care was made today Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, and Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development.
Their announcement was made at Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo, with MLA Doug Routley (Nanaimo-North Cowichan) as emcee.
Former youth in care — regardless of age — will have their tuition waived in BC starting August 1, 2023. There is also support for text books, Internet access and computers up to $3,500 per year.
Original program started with Horgan government:
In 2017, the current BC NDP government developed the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program that waived tuition and fees for former youth in care between 19 and 26.
Effective Aug. 1, 2023, this expanded tuition waiver will be made available to all B.C. former youth in care at any age as part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready plan to make education and training more accessible and affordable.
“Our government wants to ensure that all former youth in care can access post-secondary education and skills training, which will open up doors and opportunities and help them to thrive,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. “Removing the age restriction for waived tuition will reduce barriers to post-secondary education, support people in pursuing good-paying and meaningful jobs, and support a more inclusive, balanced and diverse workforce.”
Youth in Care initiatives:
“Even more young people who were in government care can now pursue their education goals and set themselves up for a bright future as a result of the expansion of this tuition waiver program,” said Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development.
“This builds on our government’s new suite of supports for youth transitioning to adulthood from care,” said Dean in today’s news release. | News release: Access to post secondary education expanded for former youth in care
Back in March 2022, Minister Dean announced a new support system for youth who were aging out of care, including housing supports and education.
Approximately 1,100 youth transition to adulthood from government care each year. Of those, 46 percent are Indigenous.
To be eligible for the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program, students must:
- be studying full or part time at an undergraduate level at a B.C. public post-secondary institution, the Native Education College or one of 10 approved union-based trades-training providers; and
- have been in any legal care status for a minimum of 24 months (cumulative), or turned 19 in any legal care status, or been adopted, or formerly in the Child in Home of a Relative program.
Minister Robinson has been promoting the upcoming Future Ready program for weeks. Funding for Future Ready was in the BC Budget 2023 as announced on February 28.
The Province is aiming to provide post-secondary training to support the one million jobs expected to open up in BC in the next 10 years, of which 80 percent will need some level of post-secondary training.
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is a professional news service that covers news of the west shore of Greater Victoria on south Vancouver Island, as well as BC-wide and national issues. Editor and publisher: Mary P Brooke.
Island Social Trends launched entirely online at islandsocialtrends.ca in mid-2020, in the footstep of its predecessor print publications MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013) and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).