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Beyond bursaries: the SAJE program

Beyond bursaries: the SAJE program

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) currently provides life-skills, training and cultural connections funding through the Strengthening Abilities and Journeys of Empowerment (SAJE) program. This income support is for former youth in care between the ages of 19 and 27 from any legal care status. Learn more here.

Am I eligible for the SAJE program income support?

You can apply to the SAJE program if: 

  1. You had one of the following care statuses on your 19th birthday:
    • Reached your 19th birthday on a Youth Agreement, Continuing Custody Agreement or under the personal guardianship of a director
    • Achieved permanency between the ages of 12 and 19
    • Had 24 months of cumulative time in care between the ages of 12-19, in any care status excluding 54.1, 54.01 or adoption
    • You were in a comparable arrangement under Indigenous law


you are on one of the following SAJE supports:

  1. Unconditional Income Support (UIS) between your 19th and 20th birthday and want to engage in optional programs or activities to pursue life-skills, training and/or cultural connection goals


  1. Conditional Income Support (CIS) agreement between your 20th and 27th birthday and you are doing at least one or a combination of the following:
    • Finishing high school
    • Attending college or university
    • Completing a life-skills, cultural, or rehabilitation program
    • Completing a vocational training program

You can work while on a CIS, including self-employment and wage replacement programs, such as EI and WCB. This will not reduce the level of income support you receive!

Sometimes requirements are too demanding to meet. If you need additional flexibility, connect with a SAJE worker or Indigenous Child and Family Service Agencies (ICFSA) worker.

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?

You can get money for:

  • Housing
  • Living expenses
  • Mental health and counselling
  • Health care/Dental/Optical
  • Life-skills, training, and cultural connections programming
  • Childcare

How do I apply for the SAJE program?

To check if you are eligible for the life-skills, training, and cultural connections funding:

Youth and young adults ages 14 to 25 connected to a MCFD worker can receive transition planning support from a SAJE Navigator or SAJE Guide. Also ICFSA workers can help you apply for the income support agreement (UIS or CIS) under the SAJE program.

If you are not connected to an MCFD or ICFSA worker:

  1. Fill out the SAJE Eligibility Check Form (If you experience issues opening the form, please email with subject line SAJE form and we will send it to you in file format)
  2. Submit your completed form by email or mail:

PO Box 9784 Station Provincial Government
Victoria, BC V8W 9S5

  1. Wait for the SAJE Provincial Support Services in your area to contact you.

Reach out to MCFD’s SAJE Provincial Support Services at 1-866-623-3001 or email if you have questions or need help filling out the SAJE Eligibility Check Form.

How long I can receive life-skills, training and cultural connections income support?

  • While on a UIS you can receive support between your 19th and 20th birthday


  • While on a CIS you can receive support between your 20th your 27th birthday

What are life skills, training, and cultural connections programs?

These programs can include activities or learning that help you develop personal goals, skills, knowledge or build connections.

Life skills topics include:

  • Identity, Belonging, Community & Cultural Connections
  • Parenting & Family Life
  • Daily Living & Household Supports
  • Money Management
  • Education, Employment & Training
  • Health & Wellness
  • Social Skills

You can connect with your worker to explore activities or programs and they can help you create goals that align with your needs.

Updates to AYA

As of April 4, 2024, the Agreements with Young Adults (AYA) transitioned into a legacy program and replaced by the SAJE program.

This means the following:

  • No new AYAs will be signed; SAJE income support is now available for life-skills, training, post-secondary and cultural connections programming
  • If you are on an AYA now, your existing agreement remains in place
  • When your AYA ends, you can transition to a SAJE income support

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