Improving Mental Health Outcomes for Youth from Care 

Supporting Youth Mental Health

There is a critical need for accessible mental health services for young people who have been involved with the child welfare system. Studies have found that exposure to trauma is almost universal amongst children and youth from the child welfare system. Young people who were exposed to abuse and neglect are almost four times more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder in adulthood than their peers. Being exposed to trauma at a young age can also be detrimental to physical health and these children are more likely to develop serious diseases in adulthood, including diseases of the liver, pulmonary system, coronary artery, and autoimmune system. 

These challenges with mental health can create a ripple effect for young people from care, hampering their ability to finish their education, obtain meaningful employment, and live full, independent lives. Through our mental health resources and supports, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is committed to addressing these unique, urgent, and complex challenges so youth from care can build resilience, improve educational outcomes, and carve brighter futures. 

“The first change [I noticed when I reached out for help] and the most noticeable change that I noticed immediately, would be my level of stress and my mental health. Definitely was getting to a better place.” – Yasmine, former youth in care. 

For many young people like Yasmine who are transitioning out of government care, urgent and complex mental health challenges must be addressed in order to achieve their employment and education goals. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the Foundation funds a number of programs and services for various community groups that are designed to specifically support their unique needs. Join our efforts and give to Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada to invest in their future. Your donation can change the trajectory of someone’s life. 


By donating, you are contributing to improving mental health outcomes for young people in and from care. 

  • $20 can contribute to helping pay for self-care items for youth  
  • $80 can help a young person maintain a healthy and strong connection with their culture through cultural programming, which is proven to improve mental health  
  • $100 could provide a one-time therapy session to children and families involved in child welfare 

The Foundation offers a range of mental health services in partnership with organizations across the country. Here are just a few of the resources we fund: 

Youth Mental Health Fund 

Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s Youth Mental Health Fund provides funding to address urgent and complex mental health challenges of young people transitioning from permanent care so that they can achieve their employment and education goals. Young people, ages 16-29, who are transitioning from permanent care are eligible to apply. 

National Bank Indigenous Youth Mental Health Fund 

Currently, Indigenous young people represent over half of those experiencing the child welfare system in Canada, despite representing only eight per cent of our country’s child population. The National Bank Indigenous Youth Mental Health Fund provides unique support to approximately 240 Indigenous youth who are in the process of transitioning out of the child welfare system and working towards education and employment goals. 


Connections is offered at the Pape Adolescent Resource Centre, a partner of Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada. Young people accessing the program meet with a nurse navigator, who conducts a wellness assessment and creates a customized care plan to assist young people in getting support within a short period of time. The nurse navigator then identifies appropriate mental health experts and services available in the community and helps young people access them. Ultimately, the navigator facilitates a smooth transition from youth to adult services. 

Sun Life Bright Futures Kids Wellness Program 

The Sun Life Bright Futures Kids Wellness Program is a mental health prevention initiative for young people living in government care. The program is expected to directly support 700 youth ages 6-18, including Black and Indigenous children. 

Join our efforts to support kids in care! 

Mental health is a major determinant of overall success and plays a big role in overall quality of life. But for youth in care – many of whom have faced childhood trauma – mental health services have always been especially hard to access. Black and Indigenous youth, whose trauma and alienation can be compounded when placed with foster families that don’t reflect their cultural identity, face even greater barriers. Through our work, the Foundation is committed to ensuring the well-being of all the communities we serve. In 2022-2023, our efforts resulted in 12,422 youth reporting improved social and emotional well-being and 3,915 reporting improved health and well-being. And with your support, we can do more – donate to Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada to directly contribute to providing mental health resources for young people and set them on a path to success. 

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