How we’re helping youth from care strengthen their resumes through employment and education supports

Photo of young woman with text: Helping provide youth with the skills and education they need

Sometimes – as young as 16 – youth who grew up in child welfare can be left on their own, no longer eligible for the type of support they received while living in foster care or group homes. For many Canadian youth, jobs and employment connections – especially first jobs – come from a parent or family friend. Young people transitioning into adulthood from child welfare may have fewer network connections due to growing up in care, which causes stress and disorientation.

Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is proud to offer employment programs that help youth in and from care transition to independence through improved access to post-secondary education and resources to find and maintain meaningful employment. Here are just a few:

Youth Works

Supported by the Gordon and Ruth Gooder Charitable Foundation, RBC, the Government of Canada, and State Street, our Youth Works program helps youth access trainings and skills development courses, as well as find internships and job placements. 92% of the youth exiting the program felt that they achieved what they wanted to achieve from the program and 60% of youth exiting the program had successfully secured employment!

One Youth Works participant shared: “I loved the opportunity to refine my skills in different areas. The internship forced me to step out of my comfort zone and diversify my skills and knowledge”.

Youth Opportunity Fund

The Youth Opportunity Fund provides individual grants to youth who were in permanent care in Canada or who are (or were) eligible for their provincial or territorial extended care program. Grants can be used for courses, programs, and other activities that will assist them in securing employment and achieving success in their careers. The fund covers tutoring for college or university, vocational assessments, career counselling and more.

Education supports

Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada offers scholarships, graduation awards and bursaries to youth in and from care to help them achieve their education and career goals. Through our Post-Secondary Education Program, we grant approximately $1.5 million to about 500 post-secondary students across Canada.

Donate to invest in their future

Samidha speaking at a podiumSamidha entered the child welfare system when she was 14 due to her family’s struggles with mental health and poverty. In those first few years of being in care, she moved to about seven foster homes, attending three different high schools. During this difficult time, she found solace in education and books. When she transitioned out of the system at just 18, Samidha knew she wanted to pursue post-secondary education and find a career that made her happy. But she didn’t have the support to do so.

That’s where Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada stepped in. Through the Foundation’s Scholarship and Bursary programs, Samidha attended McMaster University and participated in Youth Works internships, learning new skills and benefiting from mentorships, which propelled her career. “I am a living product of the support that the Foundation’s donors have had on a life, which I can pay forward.”

Your donation will support youth like Samidha as they embark on their journey to independence:

  • $10 can cover the cost of transit so youth can attend school or a job interview
  • $25 can allow a young person to participate in a resume writing workshop
  • $70 can cover the cost of childcare so that youth with their own children can attend interviews without worry
  • $150 can enroll youth in a course to receive specialized training that will help them secure a job – such as First Aid/CPR certification or Driver’s Education

Donate now

Youth from the child welfare system are 193 times more likely to experience homelessness and are more likely to rely on public assistance because of circumstances often out of their control, including not having access to enough support as they transition into adulthood. Let’s change this together. When we help youth leaving care build the skills and networks they need to find and sustain a long-term career, communities across Canada benefit from strong, hard-working young people joining the workforce.

Through our work, the Foundation is committed to ensuring the well-being of all the communities we serve. In 2023-2024, our efforts resulted in 4,850 children, youth and families reporting increased stability and 1,070 reporting increased employment and employability. In addition, 3,788 children, youth and families reported improved academic achievement, attainment, and participation.  With your support, we can do more – donate to Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada to invest in the future of youth from child welfare.

Are you a young person who needs support? Visit our website to learn more about the resources we offer.