Beyond bursaries: the AYA program

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) currently provides financial support, through the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) program, for former youth in care (Continuing Custody Order or Youth Agreement) between the ages of 19 and 26 to finish high school, go to college or university, or to take a rehabilitation or life-skills program. Learn more here.

Updates to the AYA program

Effective immediately (August 2022), a young adult’s income from employment, including self-employment and wage replacement programs, such as Employment Insurance (EI) and Workers Compensation Board (WCB), will be exempt from consideration when determining the level of funding they will receive through AYA. 

This means you can work while on an AYA and not have money taken off of your AYA cheque!

Click here for more information - check out the FAQ section.


As of April 1, 2022, flexibility for AYA life-skills, rehabilitative and mental health programs is extended indefinitely.

This means:

- Requirements for program participation will remain at 5 hours per week for life-skills OR 5 hours per week of mental health/rehabilitative programs OR a combination of both equal to 5 hours).

- You can take programs online or take a combination of life-skills programs that focuses on the areas that are important to you – including cultural connections. 

- Flexibility to access mental health supports, including cultural healing and wellness, will continue to be available for young adults under the rehabilitative program area. 

You may also be interested in the Temporary Housing Agreements (THA) or Temporary Support Agreements (TSA), which allow you to stay in your living arrangement past your 19th birthday. These options are available to those who will turn 19 through any care status. Additionally, if you are on a THA you may be on AYA at the same time.

Reach out to your local MCFD to access the AYA. You can also contact the Representative for Children and Youth at or call 1-800-476-3933. The Representatives Office can support you in making the right connections within your local MCFD or Indigenous Child and Family Service Agency (ICFSA) office.

*Coming in 2023*

Funding for young people to access life-skills, cultural, and skills training programs.

*Additional upcoming improvements have recently been announced. Click here for more information.

Am I eligible for the AYA program?

You can apply to AYA if:

1. You had one of the following care statuses on your 19th birthday:

  • Continuing Custody Order (CCO)
  • Youth Agreement
  • In the process of adoption (Family Relations Act)


2.  you are doing at least one of the following:

  • Finishing high school
  • Attending college or university
  • Completing a rehabilitation program
  • Completing a Life Skills Program


3. Are older than 19 and younger than 27 years old.

Sometimes requirements are too demanding to meet - for example, the course load requirement can be too challenging. If you need additional flexibility, connect with your social worker or local MCFD/Indigenous Child and Family Service Agency (ICFSA) office.

Insider Tip

When you leave care, get a letter stating your care status (Many bursaries require you to prove you were in care). If you've already left care, call your last social worker's office and ask them for the letter. You might have to go into an office and show your ID to get it.

What kind of financial help can I get from AYA?

You can get money for:

  • Living expenses
  • Child care
  • Tuition fees
  • Health care

How do I apply? 

To apply for AYA:

1. Fill out the application form. (If you experience issues opening the form, please email with subject line AYA form and we will send it to you in file format)
2. Drop it off at an MCFD office. 

When looking for an office:

  1. Click the link above
  2. Enter in your city or town
  3. Look for Child and Family Services offices
  4. Select the one closest to you

3. Wait for the AYA social worker in your area to contact you. It might take a month or so. 

Who can help me fill out the application form?

Anyone at an MCFD office. 

When looking for an office:

  1. Click the link above
  2. Enter in your city or town
  3. Look for Child and Family Services offices
  4. Select the one closest to you

How long can I stay on an AYA for?

You can stay on an AYA for 48 months.

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