Youths who are or were from foster care, as well as their allies, could be seen chanting at the B.C. Parliament Buildings on Wednesday as they carried large cardboard cutouts of ministers to form a “family portrait.” (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

VIDEO: Youths from foster care system call on province for more action

Group protesting in Victoria would like to see better supports for youths aging out of system

More than 50 youths could be seen chanting “thrive not survive” at the B.C. Parliament Buildings on Wednesday as they carried large cardboard cutouts of ministers through the grounds.

The crowd consisted of youths who are or were from foster care as well as their allies. They scheduled 26 different meetings with ministers, MLAs, political staffers and Premier John Horgan. The youths, who are part of an organization called Fostering Change, were at the Legislature to advocate for better supports for youths who are aging out of the foster care system.

The cut-outs were meant to form a “family portrait,” signalling to the province that the ministers and premier are a key part of the youths’ “family” as people who take responsibility for them.

READ ALSO: ‘Our goal is to heal families’: Colwood woman shares why she’s been a foster parent for 25 years

“Our journeys through care are filled with trauma and adversity. And at 19, we’re trust out by the caregiver … told we no longer need their services,” said Dylan Cohen, the campaign organizer with Fostering Change. “This is not what most kids go through, let alone those struggling like us.”

A group of youths took the opportunity to speak about aging out, a term used to describe the process of turning 19 and losing supports that youths in care once had.

“Too many of us die, too many of us age out without the supports we need … without an education,” Cohen said. “This is a solvable issue … government needs to listen.”

The group also noted the province’s Budget 2020 Consultation Report highlighted that changes need to be made when it comes to supports for youth formerly in care.

“The committee highlighted this as a critical area for action, acknowledging the anxiety of turning 19 and the fact that not all youth, whether in care or not in care, are ready to be independent at that age,” the report reads.

READ ALSO: B.C. youth aging out of foster care call for serious child welfare reform

According to Victoria’s 2018 Vital Signs report put out by the Victoria Foundation, there were 770 children and youth in care on south Vancouver Island as of March 31, 2017.

Fostering Change is working to make sure aging out can be a positive experience for youths in care.

Cohen said the group hopes Horgan will listen to them and understand the reality youths face.

“You see the cutouts of the ministers here not to represent who’s missing, but who’s our family,” Cohen said. “We need change to come from them.”

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Dylan Cohen, a community organizer with Fostering Change, spoke about the difficulties of aging out of the foster care system. He and a group of youths who were or are from the foster care system are calling on the province to improve supports for those that are aging out. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Youths who are or were from foster care, as well as their allies, could be seen chanting at the B.C. Parliament Buildings on Wednesday as they carried large cardboard cutouts of ministers to form a “family portrait.” (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Just Posted

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

This year’s Smile Cookie campaign vastly exceeds expectations

‘It blew everything we expected to do out of the water’

New Ashcroft water treatment plant is up and running

A grand opening and public tours are planned for Nov. 19

Suspect wanted for crimes in Kamloops, Merritt, Kelowna

Public asked to be on lookout for a burgundy Dodge Ram D-150 pickup

Proposed new Ashcroft-Cache Creek Golf Society in the works

‘We’re trying to get a plan in place’

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

Most Read