Search or browse below to see past 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 Media Education Society

Mentor Me at Indigenous Fashion Week (MMIFW)

Mentor Me (MM) at Indigenous Fashion Week (IFW) (MMIFW) will engage urban Aboriginal youth in care in traininga nd mentorships to empower their identities, community relationships, and employability skill development, through IFW's celebration of Indigenous pride in the creative regalia arts that story Indigenous identity in collective cultural meaning. IFW will gather 30 Indigenous-Canadian designers and artists for the first national showcase of these international clothing artists. The ongiong Mentor Me weekly group engages 15 young Indigenous women transitioning from care. MMIFW will recruit, engage, train and mentor 30 Indigenous youth-in-care in 4 urban and 2 rural training workshops, mentorships and employment. Indigenous youth, all systemically affected by the foster system will develop cultural identity, relationship, and employment skills. They be mentored with the IFW team and cultural advisory networks, and will be employed as presenters and producers at the event. Workshops after the event will gather the knowledge of these engaged youth to evaluate and design an enhanced Mentor Me program. MMIFW will create strong relationships between young people and their community members. Their experiential research into effective mentorship and skills development, focused through the creative art of IFW, will build community knowledge of how to support youth transitioning from care, activated in the MMIFW network.

Adoptive Families Association of British Columbia

Permanency Project for At Risk Youth

For the first time, AFABC would like to host a 3-day family finding bootcamp for homeless youth, and former youth in care experiencing loneliness. Every child has a family/network, and they can be found. Family Finding Boot Camps are a three day immersion for up to 50 youth and former youth in care learning the philosophy, framework and skills of Family Finding practice. Participants work in small and medium sized teams, actually practicing Family Finding for youth currently homeless, at risk of becoming homeless, or are experiencing loneliness. We would invite lead practitioner Kevin Campbell to host. In his previous bootcamps across the USA participants have successfully completed the Discovery and initial Engagement steps of Family Finding. The goal for the teams by day three of the training is to have found relatives and other connections, identified family members with functional strengths, engaged two lead family members, and invited found adults to a Preparation and Planning Meeting to be held following the bootcamp. Participants leave the immersion experience having learned and practiced the skills of Family Finding, developed a sense of confidence in their use of the skills, and feel confident in their ability to develop a personal support network. Our focus at AFABC includes following up with youth to ensure they are supported as they connect. Partnership opportunities: Broadway Youth Centre, Covenant House, Aunt Leah's, Federation of BC Youth in Care.

Arts in Action Society

19th Birthday Party Exhibition Tour

To plan, facilate, and curate an exhibition tour of the 19th Birthday Party, an interactive media installation that serves as a central provocative agent for public dialogue and education surrounding issues relating to youth in government care. The tour will work with between 4 to 7 host organizations in municipalities across the lower mainland, including: Aunt Leah’s Society in New Westminster, Lu’Ma Native Housing Society in East Vancouver, and community organizations and partners in Surrey, Burnaby, North Vancouver and Abbotsford. Co-directors of Housing Matters Media Porject will work closely with partnering host organizations in each municipality to create an art engagement and/or social event that accompanies the installation to further encourage community dialogue.

We Are Everywhere

We Are Everywhere is a community engaged art project led by artists Corin Browne and Patti Fraser, advocate and project coordinator Violet Rose Pharoah and communication professionals to mentor a small group of youth with lived foster care experience to collaboratively create a high-quality book, featuring interviews, stories and photographs of community members from across the lower mainland who are former youth in care, exploring their daily lives and sharing what has helped them survive and thrive. The project will include a post-project evaluation process with research and planing for longterm distribution of the book, including the potential social enterprise development with youth participants The mainstream narrative associated with foster care is a negative, recycled story that speaks about the issue without the actual voice of those with lived experience. The foster care population carries the social stigma of “failure” and even those closest to them usually have very little expectations for their futures. While crucial to acknowledge the realities that individuals from foster care face, many are carving out lives defined by their own personal definition of success; quietly creating new narratives that defy the preconceived notions about life after foster care. These stories deserve the opportunity to be shared and have the potential to inspire youth aging out of the system, as well as shift the current perpetuated narrative.

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.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society

Get Outside BC 2017 – Fostering Change Edition

CPAWS-BC believes that in order to ensure conservation is a long-term priority, we need to equip the next generation of youth to feel safe exploring nature; to defend socially, culturally and biologically important spaces; and to lead their peers along a similar journey. We also need to ensure that all youth have these skills and experiences, and not just a privileged few. Get Outside BC (GOBC) is a longer term youth-led leadership program that supports young people gain the mental and physical health benefits of being in wilderness, while also being a leader in a larger social and environmental change movement. After speaking with young people and social service organizations, we learned that youth in care were craving the opportunities that GOBC offered but faced many barriers to participation. For example, some programs were prohibitively expensive for youth, or social service organizations didn’t have the capacity to start these programs on top of their regular programming. CPAWS-BC will work with youth in care, youth agencies and other experts to redesign GOBC specifically to meet the needs of youth in care. In doing so, we will amplify youth voice and engage young people and youth-serving orgs in creating a program formula that ensures full access and participation. Our longer-term goal is to demonstrate our outcomes for the larger community in order to make more inclusive and accessible spaces.

Family Services of Greater Vancouver

Youth and Community Navigator Program

Directions Youth Services, a division of Family Services of Greater Vancouver, provides critical supports to youth who are homeless, street involved and/or struggling with mental health and substance usage. Many of the youth that come to Directions have been involved in the foster care system. This grant will fund the expansion of our Navigator Program and would enable us to build the knowledge and skills of a youth’s community, while also supporting youth to achieve stability and successfully transition in adulthood. For the past 16 months, Navigator has provided support to 29 youth formally and 15 youth informally. Through this project, our understanding and practice in supporting youth through this critical age of development has been enhanced. Our learning has highlighted our need to further equip the community to support and accept these youth. Many of the youth we have worked with do have connections in their community who wish to take a more active role; however, these identified people often lack knowledge in the pivotal role they can play. They have indicated they would benefit from education to better support and prepare a youth to address needs such as: securing a health care team, housing, government ID and vocational/educational goals prior to their 19th birthday. This program aims to find a balance between educating the community and informing our training through continued support of youth transitioning into adulthood.

Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association

Young Warriors Indigenous Youth Leading Change

Building on the relationships established, and needs identified in Phase One of the FCGrant, FRAFCA will develop an innovative program that would offer youth in, and from foster care a chance to represent themselves in the City of Surrey’s planning and decision-making process. We will complete this task by: 1) Creating a safe youth-only space to provide resources and meet on a regular basis; 2) develop an Indigenous Youth Leadership Training model and train two youth facilitators using the Indigenize Curriculum and addresses the 6 domains as well as their unique barriers to post care services. 3) establishing the Surrey Indigenous Youth Planning Table with key stakeholders. 4) Hold a Youth Honouring Event in partnership with Kwantlen First Nation that would invite the public to learn more about the experiences of Indigenous youth aging out of care; 5)prepare a gap analysis report and briefing note for the City of Surrey Council meeting in the fall. This year in the City of Surrey 56 Indigenous youth will age out of foster care. Surrey is home to 12000 aboriginal people. The median population age is 25.2 years old, which means it’s a young population with 50 percent under the age of 25. In our Phase One project, titled the Rites of Passage Project a major need identified was for appropriate and safe housing for youth aging out of care in Surrey. 50% of our participants were homeless at one point during our last project.

International Institute for Child Rights and Development

4 the Generation

Initiated & led by former Youth in Care, 4 the Generation builds on Vancouver Aboriginal Child & Family Services Society (VACFSS)'s Youth Advisory Committee & Strengthening our Practice research, participation in Luma’s youth mentorship program & IICRD’s YouLEAD initiative & lived experience. Through engagement with Aboriginal youth in care, it has become clear that a fundamental gap in their lives is consistent access to cultural mentors & activities/ways of being despite policies in place to support youth in care having cultural plans. This gap has made it difficult for young people to understand who they are, where they come from & to develop the trust & skills needed to become the next generation of culturally grounded leaders. In collaboration with VACFSS & Pacific Association of First Nations Women, 4 the Generation proposes to engage 10-15 high-risk Aboriginal youth between ages 15-19 living in the lower mainland including youth in care & homeless youth. The project will offer 2 sessions a week over dinner that serves traditional foods & will focus on traditional skill development, leadership & understanding Aboriginal & child rights & history. Consistent mentors & Elders will be in attendance to help develop trust, a sense of belonging & deepen cultural knowledge & leadership. Skill recognition stamps will be awarded upon completion of projects & participants will be supported to attend leadership trainings to enhance their post secondary opportunities.

McCreary Centre Society

Changing outcomes for youth in care – A Collective Impact approach

Collective Impact is a process which can be used to bring about change in complex problems in our communities. The Vancouver based project is using the Collective Impact process to bring stakeholders, youth and service providers together around a common goal, to improve the unfavourable outcomes experienced by many youth leaving government care. There are five mutually reinforcing conditions that are essential to the success of a Collective Impact approach to addressing a complex problem: developing a common vision across all stakeholders; introducing shared measurement across a service system; creating mechanisms for coordinated planning of different parts of a service system; creation of continuous communication protocols across stakeholders; and investment in dedicated system coordination. Phase 1 of the initiative (2014-2016) entailed assessing if there was a shared vision as well as willingness and ability to move forward collectively to support youth transitioning out of care in Vancouver. An initial vision was established that no youth will "age out of care." This means the system will address the need for youth to have caring connections in place, before they reach the age of 19. In Phase 2 (2016-2018), shared measures will be developed, a governance structure will be finalized and implemented, and there will be a focus on ensuring youth “ageing out” of care will have five caring connections. Project participants will examine existing service provision systems and supports (both formal and informal) that would need to realign in order to meet the vision. The knowledge and momentum gained in Phase 2 will create the opportunity to implement real change moving forward into Phase 3 (the sustainable action and impact phase). This application is to support the first six months of Phase 2 (June – December, 2016).

Network of Inner City Community Services Society

Social Credit Lending System For Young People

The goal of the project is to assess the viability of a social credit lending system for young people who have aged out of care. During crises, these young people often lack a financial safety net. NICCSS has undertaken preliminary conversations with YACs from VACFSS and Aunt Leah's in order to locate the gaps for young people who have aged out of care that could be filled by an ethical lending system. They reported that young people often lack funds for basic needs such as food, housing, medical cost and transportation, as well for aspirational needs like technology, education, career and personal development. The project would work with young people, community partners, financial institutions, health care providers, housing providers, and corporations to develop an ethical social credit lending system responsive to the needs of young people, giving them choice without miring them in needless debt. The project would work to establish a social credit score system whereby young people would receive "credit" for demonstrating connectedness to community and pro-social activities that would give them access to much-needed capital. Young people often face poverty; the project’s repayment system would allow young people to be successful in meeting the terms of their loan by accepting cash repayments, as well as goal-related and meaningful experiences such as volunteer work or work skills development, which will further increase community connections and pro-social activities.

School District #62 - Sooke

Supporting Education for Children/Youth in Care in Partnership - A Collaborative, Developmental Evaluation of Year 1

For the past several years, the Sooke School District (SD62) and the Ministry of Family and Child Development (MCFD) have been engaged in a leading-edge collaborative initiative, exploring ways to improve educational outcomes for children and youth in care (CYIC). Their goal is to help children in foster care and in kinship care to graduate from high school and move into post-secondary opportunities. In spring 2016, SD62 and MCFD committed to work together on an initiative to develop a school-based social work team that will focus on children and youth in care to help them be successful in school and to graduate. The partners have been guided by best/promising practice evidence from the literature, including the Fostering Success – Improving Educational Outcomes for Youth In/From Care report (Rutman & Hubberstey, 2016) and the recommendations contained therein. To support the initiative’s implementation and knowledge translation efforts – i.e., to help the SD62 and MCFD team achieve positive change and advance knowledge, policy, and practice - an ongoing evaluation and research process was sought. Through the process of conducting a developmental evaluation of the initiative’s initial years, this project will assist MCFD and SD62 to identify and subsequently measure the initiative’s milestones, successes and challenges as well as student- and systems-level/organizational outcomes. The research and evaluation component of the initiative will also produce a report on the initiative’s initial year, which can be used by communities across BC seeking to undertake collaborative action to foster educational success for children and youth in care.

Society for Affordable Housing Education, Awareness and Development

2017 Homeless Count

The Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness (RSCH) has conducted a regional homeless count every three years since 2002. In 2014, the last regional count, a total of 2,777 homeless people were counted in Metro Vancouver. 410 homeless children and youth were counted, representing 20% of the total individuals who responded to the age question. This included 88 children who were accompanied by a parent and under 19. The actual number of youth who are homeless - or who need help and services to end and prevent homelessness - is assumed to be much higher. With regards to youth, the project's goal is to provide a more accurate assessment of the number and demographic profile of homeless youth in Metro Vancouver. Our objectives are to: 1. Engage all youth-serving agencies across the lower mainland to participate in the Homeless Count to ensure that all youth are able to ‘count themselves in’ and answer the survey questions 2. Update existing information about homeless youth in Metro Vancouver: the number, demographic profile and trends since 2002. The gathered information provides organizations and communities with the evidence-base for attaining resources to be better able to undertake meaningful youth engagement and service delivery. Reflecting on past experiences we have decided to focus all our efforts on the core function of 'counting youth' through a robust youth strategy that is focused on agencies serving youth.

Society for Children and Youth of BC

Art for Change: Highlighting Youth Voices in Poverty Reduction Advocacy

This project aims to build momentum for the Fostering Change campaign goals through the engagement of youth in and from care in identifying and promoting systemic changes needed to reduce the incidence of poverty and its attendant vulnerabilities among BC youth leaving care. To this end we plan to facilitate a convening event with relevant FC coalition member organizations and other local organizations who have recently or are currently engaging youth in and from care in creative and artistic expression related to their experiences transitioning out of care. FC and SCY will support interested youth in being part of the team creating and animating the 2016 BC Child Poverty Report Card, to be published in November 2016. This engagement will offer participating youth opportunities to develop skills, knowledge and organizational connections, as well as experience advocating for the relevant public policy changes that would reduce poverty rates among youth leaving care. Furthermore, it would serve to uphold the youths’ right to have a say in the decisions that affect them.

Youth Led Staff Awareness Training

SCY will recruit and hire 4 youth in-and-out of care (2 in each of 2 communities), to partner with us in a Staff Training Project. They will identify customer service providers (ex. financial institutions) with whom they interact and who may benefit from awareness about experiences of youth in care and the importance of connections between these young people and their community. They will learn about the UNCRC and about a youth’s right to have their voice heard & valued. They will learn communication and workshop facilitation skills. They will work together and in consultation with other groups of youth, to build a training document and presentation for customer service staff to be co-facilitated by SCY and the Youth Coordinators. During past workshops with youth who are in or “aging out” of care, we learned about the common discrimination they experienced from customer service staff when those staff members learn that the youth they are serving are in foster care. For example, youth referred to financial institutions as being the main customer service providers that witness a young person’s ministry cheque, thus revealing their circumstances. One solution voiced by youth was the need for greater awareness. Groups we’ve talked to said they would be interested in training for staff. For example, Vancity said they make membership experience for youth a priority and are open to receiving youth-led staff training relating specifically to awareness building about youth in care.

Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society

Creating Culturally Safe Workplaces for Indigenous Workers in the Social Care Sector

Over 52% of the children in youth in MCFD care are Aboriginal yet only 5% of MCFD’s 4200 staff are of Aboriginal heritage. Similar disparities exist in community agencies. However, research suggests that life outcomes are improved when Aboriginal children and families are served by staff who share cultural knowledge and experience, and who integrate cultural perspectives and teachings into their practice and care. This project will assist MCFD and community-based child, youth and family-serving agencies to address significant human resources and organizational issues that are compromising the capacity to deliver effective services and care to Aboriginal children, youth and families, i.e. recruitment, retention and practice challenges that are amplified within culturally unsafe workplaces. Specifically, the proposed project will complement cultural agility work that is currently underway in MCFD and through FCSSBC's Leadership 2020 initiative to: 1. Engage Aboriginal staff within MCFD and community agencies to better understand current state, key recruitment and retention factors and qualities of culturally safe workplaces 2. Convene staff, organizational, community and thought leaders in an 'innovation lab' to co-design an Aboriginal Organizational Development strategy and practices to enhance cultural safety 3. Share stories, emerging knowledge and practices to inspire organizations to address barriers and build cultural safety for clients/staff

Vancity Community Foundation

Aging Out of Foster Care in B.C. Study Circles

Working with the Canadian Federation of University Women-BC Council and their clubs around the province, this project will explore the challenges facing young people aging out of foster care in B.C. by organising a working group to review and update the Study Circle Facilitators Guide, by training adult and experiential facilitators, by hosting a series of local study groups through CFUW-BC clubs across the province, by facilitating an Action Forum, and by distributing the Facilitators Guide, Action Ideas Pamphlet, and Final Report to clubs, study circle participants, and community organisations. We intend to hire an experiential young person with facilitation skills to coordinate the provincial activities and an adult co-facilitator to assist with developing the guide, facilitating training and hosting the Action Forum.

Connecting Community to Surrey Youth Leaving Care, Phase 2

Building on the outcomes and learning from phase 1, this project will take the next step in engaging community members to support Surrey youth transitioning from care. The goals of the project are: youth engagement/voice; taking local action; raising public awareness; and collaboration with the local Aboriginal friendship centre. An advisory group of youth in and from care will guide every stage of the project. They will participate in a weekend retreat, where they will prioritize ideas from the key themes of education; skills training and employment; housing; physical and mental health; and connections with others, identified in phase 1. Phase 1 participants and others will then convene to develop specific action plans and mobilize the community to roll out initiatives for 3-5 priority activities, which will be evaluated and revised if necessary, to ensure that they continue after project completion. We will convene events in years 2 and 3 that bring together community stakeholders in Surrey, to share knowledge and solutions for youth aging out of care. A web-based resource will be developed and distributed widely, to profile the project, list current initiatives for use by practitioners and youth aging out of care, and describe systemic reforms needed for lasting change. Partnership with FRAFCA will enhance Indigenous cultural awareness and inform priority activities. The final activity will be a public engagement event intended to promote and sustain the projects.

Watari Research Association

Youth Housing Collaboratory

The Youth Health & Housing Collaboratory is an initiative currently funded by Fostering Change. The Collaboratory's goal is to generate positive change and improve the experience of vulnerable/marginalized youth with complex needs who seek and access housing and related health services in Vancouver. It brings partners together to work better and differently to meet youth health, social, and housing needs. The Collaboratory has achieved several goals since its inception: 1.Establishing a Collaboratory problem solving group – to implement collectively arrived at solutions based on collectively arrived at processes 2.Engaging stakeholders to collaboratively identify and action initial improvements within the continuum of housing and related services for youth 16-24. 3. Securing commitment for sustainable collective process that will be able to support ongoing implementation of new solutions in the realm of youth access to housing. The purpose of next phase is to: Implement/test/assess impact of ‘probes’ (i.e. small, doable but significant systems and practice changes) that have been informed by the youth and service provider engagement work to date. To improve services and the experience of youth who are dealing with multiple challenges. Continue to engage youth to help identify most promising ‘probes’ and next iterations/ideas. Work together to extend/amplify/spread probes into practice and system. Continue learn,share knowledge and build a community of practice.