Awarded Grants

Search or browse below to see past awarded Field of Interest grants. You may search by recipient organization name, project name, or city. Additionally, in the sidebar you may filter the grants displayed by year, interest or grant amount.

Access to Music Foundation

Death in a Dumpster: The impact arts engagement has on youth aging out of care

This project is a collaborative venture between youth, our organization, and professional mentors in association with Directions Youth Services that supports our theory of change that sustained arts programming is a viable engagement method that has lasting benefits for street involved youth and youth aging out of care. Research suggests that the arts provide a positive entry point for youth to develop personal agency and is useful in redirecting inappropriate behaviors and ameliorating depression and suicidal ideations. We have evidence of this through our 2 year relationship with DYS where significant numbers of youth expressed a strong need to access creative activities that help them self-assess personal benchmarks. This project responds to that need and also provides a vehicle whereby youth can develop social, leadership, and applied job related skills as they transition into independence. It is critical that youth do not incur any economic burden while participating in this project and that their efforts are recognized through monetary expression. Long range plans are to amass qualitative, quantitative and narrative data; the last of which is documented on film. Research, anticipated outcomes, film documentation and methodology will be shared with other agencies working with these youth populations to encourage a multi-nested systems change to increase funding for arts and media programs and training, program implementation, heightened issues awareness, and advocacy.

Archway Community Services

Community Connections

In place of service delivery to youth who have aged out of care, we will increase readiness in the community to support these youth. A part-time staff will focus on: • Youth friendly landlord engagement • Youth friendly employer engagement • Community connections for youth We will build on existing landlord relationships by: • Establishing a youth friendly landlords group • Hosting regular landlord events • Promoting a tenant readiness program to landlords (i.e. ready to rent, existing Autumn House curriculum) We will partner with previously identified youth friendly employers to develop: • Employer & youth developed workshops, delivered at companies employing a high number of young people on: expectations for employees and a “how to communicate with young people” • Education & awareness for employers of challenges/barriers faced by young people • Completion of curriculum and workshops, with employer participation, for youth, to increase employment readiness We will support youth in building natural supports in the community through: • Creating a regular opportunity for young people & those who want to support them to spend time together • Developing a sponsor network: Former youth in care who are doing well, are interested in being “sponsors” for struggling youth. We will recruit more “sponsors” through our relationships with youth and the MCFD Youth Team • Using settings that youth are already comfortable with i.e. Abbotsford Youth Health Centre

Aunt Leah's Independent Lifeskills Society

The Friendly Landlord Network

Aunt Leah’s is asking Vancouver Foundation to fund the next 3 years of The Friendly Landlord Network (FLN). FLN is a Metro Vancouver-wide network of landlords who are interested in renting to youth from care, plus a network of youth-serving organizations who are interested in giving supports to youth from care in order to help them attain/maintain their tenure. The main connection point is to be a searchable online database resource ( for Metro Vancouver youth from care, foster families, social workers and youth-serving organizations. FLN creates a platform for landlords to exclusively direct their rental properties to youth from care in need of quality housing. Twenty-five youth-serving organizations from across the Lower Mainland have committed to supporting their youth who use FLN. This coalition of youth-serving organizations works to mitigates landlord concerns regarding issues such as lack of references, immaturity, low-incomes, or credit history. These organizations are geographically dispersed across the Lower Mainland and sign-up to the network on the condition that they'll give basic outreach and support to the their youth. In addition, this project will partially fund the work of Link Support Workers who help maintain the tenure of Aunt Leah's youth using FLN through regular youth check-ins, landlord relationship-building, procurement of stable income sources for rent payments, and long-term goal-setting/planning with youth.

The Canoe Project

The Canoe Project will be designed, organized and implemented by Aunt Leah’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC). The Cano Project has two core aims: First, we (YAC) will participate again in a week-long canoe journey with the stated goal of "recognizing the past by Pulling Together to enhance understanding between Public Service Agencies and Aboriginal Peoples by canoeing the traditional highway, strengthening our future relations". Our journey last year, from Harrison Lake, down the Fraser, to Semiahmoo was a powerful journey which reconnected us culturally on the water, together eating food and listening to Elders around the fire. It also enhanced our understanding of ourselves as youth from care and our connection to public service agencies. We rowed for 5 days with MCFD Social Workers, RCMP Officers, Chiefs and Elders. We will row again in Summer 2016, but this time we will bring a new cohort of young people with us, expanding the representation of youth from care on the 2016 Pulling Together Canoe Journey ( by a factor of two! Second, we plan to present the story publicly of who we are as youth from care, using the Canoe Journey as a metaphor. We hope to work on a small presentation that we can take on the road as a workshop in settings such as schools, service clubs, service agencies and conferences. We will make a small video of our proposed presentation and deliver it at TEDx Kids in hopes of getting our message out to a larger audience.

British Columbia's Children's Hospital Foundation

Health Transitions for Youth in Care

Given the acute and lifelong health vulnerability for youth in care, it is vital to have the health sector as a leader in promoting health and wellness in this population. This project will improve connections between the health sector and youth transitioning out of care through participatory research with youth that will guide development of an interactive workshop, transition toolkit and health navigator program. The proposed project will use a grassroots, strength based, youth driven framework to improve long term health and wellness outcomes and reduce negative health outcomes. There are 2 phases. Phase 1 will contribute empirical data from youth transitioning from care.. Youth will participate in an interactive workshop followed by qualitative interviews over the course of 6 months as youth turn 19, to gather data about the health related barriers and facilitators available to youth. Results will inform further intervention development and dissemination in phase 2. Developed with youth and stakeholder input and input from phase 1, phase 2 involves information technology, so that youth all over BC will have access. It will also pilot a peer navigation program of youth paired with a health student (medical students, nursing students, etc) to assist with health related access to care. Health navigators will build health and wellness life skills including but not limited to access to family physician, blood work, prescriptions, and/or gym access.

Matsqui-Abbotsford Impact Society

Making Resiliency Happen through Youth-Adult-Partnership for Aboriginal Youth in Care

First Nations Health Authority, Fraser Health-Aboriginal, Sumas First Nation, and Valley Youth Partnership for Engagement & Respect (VYPER – managed by Impact) propose a project, based on collective impact (Turner, et al, 2012), developmental evaluation (Patton, 2011), and outcome mapping (Earl, Carden, & Smutylo, 2001), that will enhance community youth-adult partnership behaviours to improve the number, quality and sustainability of Aboriginal teaching-inspired resiliency-building opportunities available to youth-in-care in the Fraser Health region. This approach acknowledges replicated studies showing resilience is a social process (Obradovic, Burt, & Masten, 2006; Sameroff & Rosenblum, 2006; Stajduhar, Funk, Shaw, Bottorff, & Johnson, 2009; Stone, Becker, Huber, & Catalano, 2012), and is based on three core factors that support youth into thriving by mid-life (Brown, Jean-Marie & Beck, 2010): 1. opportunities to participate and contribute; 2. caring and connected relationships; and 3. developing high self-expectations. These factors align with Indigenous teachings around the four quadrants of the medicine wheel: generosity, belonging, mastery, and independence (Brendtro, Brokenleg, & Van Bockern, 2002). The project will support the addition of an Aboriginal Youth-In-Care Facilitator to the VYPER project, which already engages numerous Aboriginal youth-in-care. The specific role will be to facilitate opportunities that support traditional ways between elders and youth.

McCreary Centre Society

Youth Research Academy

Building on the success of previous McCreary projects which have taught research skills and supported experiential youth (including those with care experience), we propose to establish a Youth Research Academy which will train one cohort of youth in and from government care each year. Participants will be trained to design, deliver, analyze and disseminate research projects of interest to youth with care experience and service providers. The Academy will also offer opportunities for additional youth to engage in more condensed research training projects. At least one research project conducted each year will be in partnership with the Federation of BC Youth In Care Networks (FBCYICN). FBCYICN had already identified the research projects it would like Academy participants to complete in Years 1 and 2. Once the first cohort of Academy participants have been trained, the Academy will take on additional research and evaluation projects for other agencies. Project goals include increasing youth led/driven research; training youth in and from care in community based research and dissemination; supporting youth and partner agencies to consider advocacy opportunities identified within the research; assisting participants to develop marketable skills; offering community agencies access to trained youth researchers who can conduct research projects of interest to those agencies; and offering evidence of the success of this model of engaging and supporting vulnerable youth.

PHS Community Services Society

Youth Housing First

The PHS Youth Housing First Project was piloted in 2011 through the Vancouver Foundation Youth Homelessness Initiative. The objective of the project is to house chronically homeless youth between the ages of 18-25 residing in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Youth Housing First offers unconditional supported housing and stability for young people who have become homeless as a result of mental illness and addiction. In the next year we are developing the sustinability of our youth work through two streams - developing a product or products that fund the training and employment opportunities for youth at East Van Roasters and Community Thrift and Vintage (coffee, granola etc) - and creating youth specific clinics using the fee for service model at the Portland Clinic

Ready to Rent BC Association

Building Capacity through Education

Building Capacity through Education will build upon the recent Peers for Housing Stability initiative. Though Peers, R2R developed a youth-specific course and trained youth facilitators to co-facilitate 20 RentReady sessions in the Lower Mainland. Emerging feedback from community partners has indicated a demand for capacity building to deliver the training in-house, both the youth-specific RentReady course as well as the broader, certificate-backed RentSmart course. In speaking to youth, R2R has also identified the need to develop tools that address roommate living situations, often a requirement for affordability but legally in the grey zone and a source of many issues and conflicts. Finally, there is a need for increased awareness and expansion of the Ready to Rent model amoung landlords and housing providers in the Lower Mainland. The goals for Building Capacity are as follows: - to train community organizations in the Lower Mainland to become RentSmart and RentReady facilitators and be able to deliver the curriculum to their youth populations - to increase awareness of the RentSmart certificate amoung landlords and housing providers - to pilot and implement RentSmart within the public, alternative and aboriginal school systems - to develop tools, resources and supports to assist youth to identify and navigate successful roommate living situations

Society for Children and Youth of BC

My Life Through the Lens: A Youth Rights Photovoice Project

This project will recruit 20 youth transitioning from foster care in the Lower Mainland to participate in a project using the technique of photovoice. Youth will learn to express their stories and become agents for change in their communities. Youth who participated in an earlier version of this project will be consulted on the development of this workshop and youth guest speakers/facilitators will be asked to help with the workshops. Participants will learn about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, metaphorical photography, leadership, grassroots social movements, communication, and social media. With ongoing support from the project coordinator, youth will take photos that represent issues related to their transition from care to adulthood and their rights, select their best photos, and create quotes that express the idea in the photo. Using their photos, youth will engage in their own public awareness campaign using social media and other methods. Youth will help organize a photo exhibit and gala event to which local decision makers will be invited so that youth will have another opportunity to have their voices heard. Following the event, youth will meet up to strategize on how they can move their public awareness campaigns forward. Additionally, SCY will document this experience, create a toolkit, hold workshops and participate in events for community and Fostering Change partners on how to do this type of youth engagement work for change in the future.

St. Leonard's Youth and Family Services

Youth Innovation Lab

The Youth Innovation Lab originated out of the need for mentorship and pre employment opportunities for youth in care. St Leonard's has served youth at risk and youth in care since 1967- through a variety of traditional and non traditional programs. Outdoor adventure programs, a horse resource for girls, gang prevention, a day school and of course our residential homes have historically provided high quality care for youth. Research indicates that the jobs of the future reside in the high tech industry. A majority of youth in care struggle to achieve the training and education that they need for future employment success. There are many reasons for this, including the lack of permanency in home life, education, etc. Through our partnerships with the school district, the MCFD, the high tech community and others, we are building an accessible coding school to mentor youth through training and internships opportunities. The project started last year with an evaluation conducted by McCreary. Year two will focus on youth in care recruitment, leadership development, curriculum design, internships and with the support of Vancity and SFU, the development of the CSR and learning community framework for our tech community partners. The long range business goal is to see the tech and broader community support the ongoing financing of the program.

Vancity Community Foundation

Fostering Change in Surrey: Wrapping the Community Around Kids Leaving Care

The Surrey Poverty Reduction Coalition (SPRC) exists to foster collaboration in Surrey to address the unique challenges of people living in poverty. With our diverse membership and strong links with the City of Surrey, we are well placed to bring together the various sectors that will be needed to make a deep and lasting impact in the lives of some of our most vulnerable young people. Using the framework of “THIS is how we end poverty in Surrey”, which focuses on four key policy areas that affect people living in poverty: Transportation, Housing, Income and Supports, and working in partnership with youth in/from care, the SPRC will engage the community to do a radical rethinking of the ways in which youth are supported when they transition from the care of the MCFD, into adulthood. Bringing our whole community along, including business, philanthropists, unions, etc. we are keenly interested in rethinking the way that we meet the needs of these young people, and helping them to be supported in achieving their aspirations. Using a collective impact approach, we will: compile available information and research on youth in/from care in Surrey; convene two multi-stakeholder workshops toward developing a framework for further action; and host a public event that will include the "The 19th Birthday Party" art exhibit. All phases of the project will engage youth in/from care - "not about them without them".

Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society

Restorative Aboriginal Child Welfare: Research, Practice & Approaches

Youth involved in the 3 youth engagement programs at VACFSS develop positive identity, concrete skills and cultural connections to support their transition out of care. This project will investigate how these programs are effective, determining how we can better utilize Inclusive Foster Care to extend the identified restorative practices to all youth in care at VACFSS. We will maximize the support from Vancouver Foundation by leveraging in-kind supports from a broad network of community partners. Year 1 will involve youth led research on how the Urban Butterflies, Youth Advisory Council (YAC) and Culturally Relevant Urban Wellness (CRUW) programs contribute to setting up diverse Aboriginal youth for success in their transition out of care in concrete and measurable ways. This will involve supporting a group of youth selected from YAC and CRUW as co-researchers throughout the project. The 2nd year will involve a youth-led process of engaging youth in care, caregivers (foster parents), biological family, and community partners, to generate a series of evidence-based recommendations for policy and practice revision at VACFSS. Year 3 will then involve the same group of youth co-researchers in a process of implementing the recommendations alongside a youth-led process of monitoring and evaluation. This same year will also include a process of knowledge exchange, sharing our research, policy development, and outcomes with community partners and other interested stakeholders.