COVID-19 leaves youth forced out of foster care even more vulnerable

Marsha Rampersaud and Linda Mussell - The Conversation

This article from the Conversation puts a spotlight on the situation of young people aging out of the child welfare system in Ontario, Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. "For most of these young people, turning 18 coincides with an abrupt withdrawal of their social supports as they simultaneously have to secure affordable housing, manage finances and finish high school," says the article. "Youth exiting the child welfare system are significantly less prepared to face these challenges than their peers, and many fare poorly. In Ontario, 58 per cent of these youth experience homelessness, 46 per cent report coming into conflict with the law and only 44 per cent of youth exiting the system graduate from high school."

During the pandemic, the Ontario government place a moratorium on the practice requiring youth to leave their care placements when they turn 18 until March 31, 2021. The authors of this article call for this moratorium to be extended indefinitely.