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Empowering youth in and from government care in BC


Beyond bursaries: the AYA program

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

Temporary Housing and Temporary Support Agreements Changes – effective April 3, 2023

MCFD is introducing additional flexibility for housing options:

  • Eligible young adults on a Temporary Housing Agreement (THA) can now access a Temporary Support Agreement (TSA) on their 19th birthday regardless of their living arrangement;
  • There is now a two-year timeframe in effect for accessing a THA and TSA which are available to young adults between the ages of 19 and 21; 
  • Young adults can move from a THA to a TSA at any time between their 19th to 21st birthday; and
  • Young adults approaching or over 21 will be supported to transition from their current agreements by December 30, 2023.  

AYA Expansion from 48 to 84 months – effective April 3, 2023

  • In response to feedback from the Youth Advisory Council, young adults and front-line workers, and to minimize unnecessary instability and distress for young adults, MCFD has changed regulation to extend the maximum duration of AYA to 84 months. This will ensure young adults can receive their AYA supports and services up until their 27th birthday.

Dental/Optical Limit Increase – effective April 3, 2023

  • The ministry has increased dental coverage by $300 to $1000 annually and expanded optical benefits to cover eye exams for young adults participating in MCFD’s post-majority programming.  

Provincial Tuition Waiver Program – effective August 1, 2023
StudentAid BC will improve supports for former youth in care by:

  • Opening the Provincial Tuition Waiver Program (PTWP) for former youth in care at any age;
  • Enhancing PTWP eligibility to include those former youth in care who were on any care status when they turned 19 regardless of their time in care; and
  • Introducing a new annual grant up to $3,500 to help students who are recipients of the provincial tuition waiver pay for additional costs such as books, computers, and internet services.

Additional Information and Resources:
SAJE (Strengthening Abilities and Journeys of Empowerment) formerly Youth Transitions
Youth Transitions Housing Supports web page
Youth Transitions AYA web page
Provincial Tuition Waiver Program News Release
Youth Transitions Implementation Roadmap

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. And 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 See below for a list of eligible programs

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.

Which life skills programs are eligible?

Life Skills Programs Eligible for AYA-Funded Young Adults

Where Who What program Contact
Abbotsford Archway Community Services Stepping Stones Lisa Hedrick –
Campbell River Laichwilthach Family Life Society Aboriginal Life Skills Program 250-286-3430
Whistler Zero Ceiling  Work 2 Live 604-962-5000
Courtenay The John Howard Society of North Island The Station – Supported Independent Living 250-338-7341
Kelowna New Opportunities for Women Canada Society (NOW) The Essential Program 250-763-3876
Kamloops A Way Home Kamloops Life Skills Sadie Hunter: or Madison Smith: 236-597-0892
New Westminster Aunt Leah’s Place Branches AYA Life Skills Program (604) 525 1204 ext. 234
North Vancouver Hollyburn Family Services Society (HFSS) Life Success Program 604-987-8211
Prince George Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS) Bridging to Employment Life Skills to Success 250-562-3591
Prince George Prince George Association for Community Living AimHi 250-649-3321
Surrey Options Community Services (OCS) Supported Youth Independent Housing Program 604-418-4736
Vancouver Covenant House Vancouver Rights of Passage 604-647-4480
Vancouver Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS) Youth Housing Services 604-951-4821
Vancouver YWCA Metro Vancouver Strive 604-895-5791 604-202-7011 (cell)
Vancouver Island Prana Services Inc Life Skill and Outreach program Linda Foster –

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