Legislative amendment affects youth in care aging out

Monday, December 3, 2018

The Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) protects the legal and financial interests of clients such as children and youth who are in the continuing care of the province, have no legal guardian or are undergoing adoption. As your property guardian, the PGT’s job is to investigate potential legal claims and ensure that you receive any financial benefits you are entitled to. For a lot of youth aging out of care, the transition into adulthood can be difficult, particularly when it comes to money management. Leaving care can mean you don’t have guidance and support from family and other trusted adults about how to manage your money, which means you could become vulnerable to financial abuse. 

For years, the PGT has advocated for law reform that would allow youth aging out of care the choice to continue receiving support from the PGT to manage the money held in their trust accounts. On December 3, 2018, legislative amendments to the Infants Act and the Public Guardian and Trustee Act will give you the option to have the  PGT continue  to hold and manage your money as your trustee until you turn 27.

This change will address many of the concerns held by the PGT’s Guardianship and Trust Officers, who have heard former youth in care say they regret not having a plan in place when they received their money at 19. Sometimes family and friends can put pressure on youth aging out of care to spend their money in ways they may not want. Other times, youth aging out of care have found their money quickly spent with little to show for it. While the PGT offers finanial literacy training for young people, including the Money Sense quest on AgedOut.com, for some youth, the option to continue receiving support after they turn 19 will allow them to feel more comfortable and prepared when they make the decision to have their money released to them. 

The PGT wants to meet with you sooner, well before you turn 19, to provide you with information about your trust account and the options available to you about how to manage your money.

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at cys@trustee.bc.ca or by phone at 604.775.3480.

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