Independent Living Assistance

CCAS Child and Youth Services staff provide a range of critical services and supports to help youth transition from CCAS care to independent living. Our supportive services include: 
  • Individual support
  • Life skills counselling & group work
  • Budget counselling
  • Financial support (see below)
  • Housing advocacy
  • Scholarships
  • Referrals to job search and training programs
  • Immigration consulation services
  • Referrals to community services
  • Youth criminal justice system advocacy

Our youth can also benefit from the following programs:

Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs)

RESP benefits are critical in ensuring foster children's access to federal education benefits that can grow tax-free. CCAS establishes RESPs for foster children who are younger than age 6. We manage these accounts until children access the funds for post-secondary education or until they turn 25.

CCAS also provides children and youth scholarship grants, which are disbursed through our Catholic Children’s Aid Foundation Foundation

Ontario Child Benefit equivalent (OCBe)

Starting in July 2009, OCBe, a new funding enhancement introduced by the government provides a range of positive and supportive experiences for our children to help ensure a smoother transition into adulthood.

OCBe benefits include:

  • Activities / Opportunity Fund: 
    Provides children and youth in care (0-17 years old) the option of participating in recreational, educational, cultural, and social activities which support higher educational success, higher degree of resiliency, social skills and relationship development. The selection of programs and activities involves caregivers, workers and youth as part of their formal planning for care. 
  • Savings Fund:Provides youth in care who are 15-17 years old the benefit of a savings program that can help pay for housing or education after they leave foster care. Youth can only access these funds after they turn 18.
  • In order to access these savings, youth are required to obtain financial literacy training to help them budget and manage their money more effectively.

Extended Care and Maintenance (ECM)

When CCAS youth turn 18, they are legally considered to be adults and CCAS no longer has guardianship over them. Youth are prepared for independence throughout their experience in CCAS's care. The primary focus of our casework with a young person is to support the development of skills which lead to self sufficiency. This includes promoting education and employment goals.

ECM is an important tool that bridges the transition to adulthood by providing additional support for former crown wards between the age of 18 and 21.

An ECM contract is mutually-agreed upon to identify ongoing support from CCAS. It may include educational/vocational/employment programming, medical, dental and financial support, and any other issues related to the youth's circumstances. It allows youth to keep connected with their worker, and to continue receiving guidance and counselling as required.