March 17, 2022
(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C.) The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) applauds the announcement by the Ministry for Child Development (MCFD) Minister, Mitzi Dean, that youth raised in government care will now be able to access much needed housing, mental health, educational and financial support up until the age of 27, with a commitment of $35 million over the next three years to support this population.
“MCFD’s announcement to offer post-majority supports to youth in and from government care has been a long time in coming, and follows decades of advocacy by First Nations, youth from the government care system, and advocates”, stated Cheryl Casimer, First Nations Summit Political Executive member “Many programs offered by MCFD, such as the Agreements with Young Adults program have been highly restrictive and offered few results. Increased support for this vulnerable population of youth is needed now more than ever. Young First Nation adults from care experience some of the worst outcomes in the province, being 200x more likely to become homeless, 17x more likely to be hospitalized for a mental health crisis, and 5x more likely to die before the age of 25, when compared to their peers in the general population. These numbers are simply not acceptable, and we look forward to seeing a whole of government approach, working closely with rights holders, to addressing these dire outcomes”.