Skip to main content

How We Make a Difference

Everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive

Means lives are changed, maybe even saved. Aunt Leah’s gives every young person care and attention to their needs, hopes and dreams. Our services and supports focus on housing, lifeskills, education and employment – four corners to a foundation for life, learning and independence.

We have two goals, first to decrease the number of children taken into foster care by preventing young mothers from losing their children. And secondly we prevent youth leaving foster care from falling into homelessness and poverty. We offer a landing pad and a springboard to a successful future for the young people we serve.

April 1st 2022 – March 30th 2023
764 Youth, moms and children supported

Housing

170

Youth were helped to retain their housing month over month

95%

Retained housing after 3 months

Education

175

Enrolled or re-enrolled in our education support programs

24

Received emergency funds so that they could stay in school

Lifeskills

200

Youth engaged in counselling

2,586

Meals and bags of groceries delivered

Employment

66

Took part in our employment services

26

Started a job 

The Challenge: Why do Foster Kids Struggle?

In BC, there are approximately 850 youth who will ‘age out’ of care at age 19 every year. Of these 850, more than 350 are permanent wards of the court; the Province is their last legal guardian before leaving care and becoming an adult. The remaining young people are either on voluntary or temporary agreements, where the parent/guardian has not lost permanent legal guardianship. In BC, 43% of foster children reside in Metro Vancouver.

These young people leave government care with nothing and often completely alone. Most are healing from neglect, abuse and trauma of some kind. Their circumstances are dismal, most are unemployed, and many experience homelessness within a few years of  leaving care.

What Needs to Change ?

Youth from foster care need the support that most parented youth receive: safe, secure housing, assistance with education, employment and care for their individual needs.

We know who needs extra help and how to reach them. Who to help is not a mystery – we can place scarce resources toward those most in need. We have official governmental and institutional contact with young people before they ‘age out’ of care; both the school and child welfare systems provide this conduit for identification and connections to additional resources. This is a relatively small group of individuals; therefore the goal of delivering these extra preventative supports is within reach. Aunt Leah’s provides these supports as our resources allow. Early intervention creates the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. We have the opportunity and indeed the moral and ethical obligation for early intervention to prevent homelessness, crime, unemployment and unplanned pregnancies and instead offer opportunity and the chance to move toward healthy self sufficient lives.

We Make Change

We raise awareness about the issues that foster children and families at risk face. We do research, develop programs and collect data and stories of lived experiences so that we all can better understand the challenges that must be addressed.

Aunt Leah’s endorses and participates in the Equitable Standards for Transitions to Adulthood for Youth in Care demonstration of a best practice model of care. We systematically evaluate the delivery of our services against these standards in eight areas of support: Financial- Educational and Professional Development – Housing – Relationships – Culture and Spirituality – Health and Wellbeing – Advocacy and Rights – Emerging Adulthood Development.

Aunt Leah’s partners with Fostering Change, the BC Coalition to End Youth Homelessness, and Feminists Deliver to advocate for increased support for youth in and from government care and mothers at risk of losing custody of their children.

Our participation and development and delivery of services in the crucial project will help to inform a national standard for care for youth transitioning to independence.

EVERY DOLLAR COUNTS
Your support helps kids in foster care and young mothers achieve a better future.