Branches AYA Life Skills Program is a 3 to 6 month program for former youth in care wishing to pursue life skills, including training, education and/or employment. Eligible participants will receive Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) funding, a Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) program that provides living funds and educational supports for up to 4 years. Eligible youth can access these funds non-consecutively, from the time they turn 19 to their 27th birthday.
Branches creates an individualized program using classroom-based training and one-to-one mentor-ship in the areas of Interpersonal Skills, Employment, Housing, Education, Health and Wellness and Financial Literacy. Through creating access to life skills training and AYA living supports, we are creating a new avenue for poverty reduction, economic stability and education.
- Offers a ‘rolling intake’. No wait lists or start dates – apply today!
- Offers post-program supports in order to help integrate participants into employment, education, housing and economic stability
- Offers participants personalized goal-setting and an Individualized Development Plan
- Allows youth to combine a Life Skills Program with Education or Training.
- Centrally located near 22nd Street Station in New Westminster, BC – just outside Metro Vancouver
- Provides onsite access to rehabilitative counselling and mental health
- If you had one of the following care statuses on your 19th birthday & are between 19 – 27 years old you are eligible to apply for AYA through this program
- Continuing Custody Order (CCO)
- Youth Agreement
- In the process of adoption
- Willingness to complete a combination of 12 hours per week of life skills, education, training and/or rehabilitation.
Why this program is important:
- Leverages designated, yet under-utilized, provincial funding in an upstream pro-active and efficient effort to stop future homelessness among a group of young people we know are inordinately at-risk of future homelessness.
- Puts in place living supports for young people during that crucial time when they ‘age out’ of care, therefore directing scarce resources temporally to spaces in time when/where youth from care are most likely to experience homelessness
- Responds to the very real and basic problem of youth poverty within the context of a modern-day housing crisis. In short, this project responds to the reality that youth from care do not have enough income in order to pay for historically unprecedented rent prices.
- This project removes barriers to eligible youth to receive AYA funding, mirroring the types of supports that average Canadian families give their own children through early adulthood, thus allowing young people from care to realize their potential by pursuing education, gaining meaningful employment, finding stable housing, improving mental and physical health and strengthening their families along each journey toward self-sufficiency.
Please contact Sarah Benson, Community Engagement Coordinator.
Office: (604) 525-1204 ext. 234
Mobile: (604) 825-8331
or fill out the form below:
For information on eligibility criteria for AYA click here
Aunt Leah’s Place operates as an accredited organization through CARF
(Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) International.
This program is generously supported by:
Gilmore Park United Church
This program is also possible thanks to the Aunt Leah’s social purpose real estate partnership with Central City Foundation at its main Youth Resource Hub and Head Office at 816 Twentieth Street, New Westminster, BC