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Aunt Leah's Independent Lifeskills Society

Thresholds Program: Interrupting the Intergenerational Cycle of Foster Care

Thresholds Program provides supported housing for pregnant and parenting moms who, due to homelessness, are at risk of losing child custody. Moms live in a warm, home-like and supported environment during their stay, moving to supported independent housing when ready. Priority is given to moms who have a history of being in foster care. Youth from care are at heightened risk of early pregnancy and loss of child custody to the child welfare system. In BC, no collated record is kept on the number of youth-in-care who experience pregnancy. The best data on this issue comes from McCreary's work, ‘Fostering Potential’ (2008). The "report is based on the responses of almost 1,000 young people in Grades 7 through 12 who had been in care" and finds "among [foster] youth who ever had sex, 19% reported having been pregnant or caused a pregnancy, with a further 6% not sure if they had". Aunt Leah's 28-year history of working with young people transitioning from foster care corroborates this data; for example, of the 164 former foster youth that Aunt Leah’s worked with last year, 28 (17%) have dependents of their own – representing an additional 39 babies and children that receive Aunt Leah’s support. Thresholds works preventatively at the ‘entry’ point of the foster care system by giving pregnant & parenting young women from care the skills and resources they need in order to become successful parents, thus barring a new generation of children from entry into foster care.

Watari Research Association

Transition to Independence Program - TIP II