Preparing For Independence
At age 18, you are now an adult and the Crown Ward Order has expired. What do you do now? How do you access resources and supports that will assist you in transitioning towards independence? Below is information that applies to former Crown Wards.
Continued Care and Support for Youth (formerly ECM)
Continued Care and Support for Youth (CCSY) is a voluntary agreement between the former Crown Ward and the Durham Children’s Aid Society. This agreement is set up to give former Crown Wards a monthly allowance to fund day to day expenses such as rent, food, clothing, hygiene, phone and transportation. This is a customized agreement between the youth and the Society and the youth is to meet agreed upon goals in order to stay on CCSY until age 21. Most children stay at home until they are finished their schooling and obtain employment. This option allows former Crown Wards age 18-21 to continue their schooling and receive emotional and monetary support from the DCAS. Speak to your CYS Worker to see if you meet criteria for CCSY.
Crown Ward Aftercare Benefits Initiative
The Aftercare Benefits Initiative is for previous Crown Wards age 21-25; not eligible for other health coverage and were a youth in CAS care (Crown Ward). You may qualify for these benefits: Prescription Drugs, Dental, Vision, Extended Health, Counselling and other life skills supports, including career coaching, financial planning, legal advice and more. Eligible youth can access ABI through their website, listed below, or call 1-800-718-1797 for further information.
Ontario Child Benefit Equivalent (OCBE)
The OCBE directive came into effect on June 26, 2008 through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. DCAS allocates OCBE funds for the purpose of Activities Program and Savings Program. Activities Program is intended to support children and youth in care, up to age 18, in achieving the following outcomes.
- Higher educational achievement;
- Higher degree of resiliency, social skills and relationship development; and
- A smoother transition to adulthood.
Savings program is money saved through OCBE for youth in care between the ages of 15-18. This Savings Program can be used to assist youth with their basic needs upon leaving care. Eligible youth must meet the following requirements to get access to their OCBE savings.
- Acquire financial skills and demonstrate financial competency relevant for independent living;
- Establish a personal bank account, or an alternative savings mechanism to receive funds where banking is not feasible;
- Develop an appropriate plan for the use of the savings.
Speak to your CYS Worker for more details on eligibility and how to access the OCBE Activities Program and OCBE Savings Program.
DCAS Start Up Fund: CCSY youth are also eligible for a one-time start up fund of $500.00 from the DCAS to purchase furnishings for their new residence. Speak to your worker for more details on how to request the DCAS Start Up Fund.
Budgeting and Money Management: Do you feel like your money is disappearing? Below are some helpful tips and strategies on how to budget your money.
- 6 budget grocery shopping tips:http://www.canadianliving.com/life/money/6_budget_grocery_shopping_tips.php
- For tips and information on taxes, credit and budgeting etc.:http://www.investopedia.com/articles/younginvestors/08/eight-tips.asp#axzz20oLrLub2
Food banks in your area
It can be difficult to budget your funds and it’s okay to utilize your local food bank to ensure you have enough to eat during the month where your CCSY funds fall short. See below for a list of Food Banks in your region.
Salvation Army Ajax/Pickering
37 King’s Crescent
Hours of Operation: Mon. Tue. Thur. 9:30am – 4:00pm
Salvation Army – Bowmanville
75 Liberty St.
Hours of Operation: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30pm to 3:30 pm
Clarington East Food Bank
87 Mill St. N. #2
Phone: (905) 987-1418
Hours of Operation: Tue. 1:00pm – 4:00pm & Thur. 10:00am – 1:00pm
Adventist Community Services Centre
1170 King St. E.
Phone: (905) 433-8800
Hours of Operation: Wed 12:30pm – 2:45pm & Thurs 9:00am – 2:45pm
New Life Neighbourhood Centre
33 Olive St.
Phone: (905) 404-2004
Hours of Operation: 2nd Sun of the month 9:00am-11:00am Or Call for appointment
Durham Outlook for the Needy – St. Vincent’s Kitchen
51 King St. East
Phone: (905) 434-7543
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri they serve dinner 3:30pm-5:30pm, Saturday 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Sunday Brunch 12:00pm -2:00pm
Salvation Army – Oshawa
45 King St. E
Phone: (905) 723-7422 Ext. 21
Hours of Operation: Monday & Wednesday 10:30am – 1:00pm (drop in)
Tuesday & Friday by appointment only
Simcoe Hall Settlement House
387 Simcoe St. South
Phone: (905) 728-7525
Hours of Operation: Mon. Tue. Thurs. Fri.
9:00am-11:30am and 1:00pm-3:15pm
St. Peter’s Food Bank (South Oshawa Residents only)
1175 Cedar St.
Phone: (905) 728-8080
Hours of Operation: Each Tue (except 5th Tue) 6:00pm – 7:00pm
The Eating Well Ministries
73-1 Celina St.
Phone: (905) 579-1706
Hours of Operation: By appointment please call
St. Paul’s On the Hill Community
1537 Pickering Pkwy.
Phone: (905) 839-9537
Hours of Operation: Tuesday & Friday
10:00am ““ 12:00pm
Salvation Army – Whitby
607 Palace St.
Phone: (905) 430-3454
Hours of Operation: Mon – Fri 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Rights and Responsibilities for Youth in Care: As a youth, you have several rights in this world, such as receiving medical and dental care, the right to go to school, receive appropriate discipline but not physical punishment, to participate in recreational and athletic activities that are suited to your interests and talk privately with your CAS worker and your lawyer.
Do you know you also have the right to:
- The freedom of expressing your opinions and to be heard.
- Reasonable privacy and possession of your own property.
- Be treated fairly regardless of race, sex, culture, abilities, sexual orientation or religion.
- Participate in cultural activities, heritage and traditions related to your family background.
The Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth: If you feel your rights have been violated or you have other questions related to your care, call the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth. The Provincial Advocate Office listens and attempts to problem solve, mediates complaints, negotiates with service providers or government officials, networks with the community and intercedes on behalf of children, youth and young adults when they cannot speak for themselves.
They can be reached at 1-800-263-2841 or www.provincialadvocate.on.ca
Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Program: This is specialized transitional planning for youth who have a diagnosis of an intellectual ability as assessed through psychometric and adaptive skill assessments. The TAY program provides case management and residential and community participation support to those adults awaiting transfer to adult support services. Your CYS Worker will know if you meet qualifications for this program.
Youth Communication, Advocacy and Networking (YouthCAN) This resource supports youth in transition. YouthCAN is a multi-component program for youth in care of Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario, and Children’s Aid staff who work with them. The functions of YouthCAN are facilitated by the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies.
- Advocate on behalf of youth in care in Ontario Children’s Aid Societies.
- Communicate timely and relevant information to Children’s Aid Societies and youth in care.
- Increase youth input into policy, programs and activities.
- Be a resource to Children’s Aid Societies, youth networks and organizations with a Youth in Care matter.
Social Assistance Programs: Ontario has two Social Assistance programs to help eligible residents of Ontario who are in financial need. Keep in mind, that you cannot receive OW/ODSP funds and CCSY funds at the same time.
Ontario Works (OW) helps people who are in temporary financial need.
Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) helps people with disabilities. It has two parts:
- Financial help – this is called Income Support.
- Help finding a job – this is called Employment Supports.
If you are currently on Continued Care and Support for Youth with DCAS, you are ineligible for OW or ODSP at the same time.
They can be reached at http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca
Income Tax Information: Each year those age 18+ should complete and file their Annual Income Tax return forms. Even if you have not worked, you could still be eligible for a GST rebate. If you are on Continued Care and Support for Youth, you do not have to claim this as income. Each year Canada Revenue works collaboratively with community organizations to provide a Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP). The objective of the CVITP is to help eligible individuals who are not able to prepare their income tax benefit returns by themselves. The community organizations host tax preparation clinics and arrange for volunteers to prepare tax returns for individuals with a low income and a simple tax situation. The CRA offers training and tax software for the volunteers as well as a network of CVITP co-ordinators to guide community organizations as they deliver the program. For more information, log onto
Emergency shelters provide temporary housing for individuals who have no other place to stay. Emergency shelters may provide shared or private rooms with shared facilities such as washrooms, laundry and lounge areas.
Joanne’s House Youth Supports
Joanne’s House is an emergency shelter and provides short term housing for youth, ages 16 to 24 years old. This shelter is a safe place for youth and they provide meals, clothing, shower and washroom facilities, access to phone and internet, help with navigating social service systems, referrals for counselling, education on nutrition and hygiene and assistance with employment readiness.
Location: 82 Kings Crescent, Ajax, Ontario
Phone Number: (905) 239-9477
Muslim Welfare Center
Muslim Welfare Center is an emergency shelter for women and children of any denomination. The shelter can be accessed Monday – Sunday 24 hours/day.
Location: 425 Dundas Street East, Whitby, Ontario
Phone Number: (905) 665-0424
Cornerstone Men’s Hostel
Cornerstone is an emergency shelter, providing short-term housing for males that are age 16 years or older. Cornerstone is located in downtown Oshawa, and can be accessed 365 days/year.
Location: 133 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa, Ontario
Phone Number: (905) 433-0254
Youth Life Skills and Drop-ins
There are several youth friendly drop-ins and resource programs to assist you in connecting to resources and other youth in the community. Durham Children’s Aid Society offers several life skill programs for youth in care 14-20 years of age. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details on what we offer.
See below for youth Resource Centres in the Durham region.
Durham Adolescent Resource Centre (DARC)
Durham Children’s Aid Society
1320 Airport Blvd.
Ages: 14-20 years of age , for youth in the care of the Society.
Tuesday and Thursday (3:00 pm – 6:00pm)
Youth Activity and Support Program (YASP)
YASP is open Monday to Friday from 3:30pm-6:30pm. They provide a drop-in atmosphere and can assist youth with transferable employment, independent living and life skills learning opportunites. Participating youth have access to an onsite Nurse Practitioner, emergency food pantry, laundry, shower and dinner at no cost.
60 Bond Street West
222 McKinney Drive,
(905) 655-2203 Ext. 5015
Ages: 12 ““ 18 years of age
Mon-Fri (4 pm to 8 pm), Sat (1 pm to 8 pm)
Firehouse Youth Centre
132 Church Street
Ages: 12-18 years of age
Tues-Fri: 3 pm to 8 pm
Oshawa Community Health Centre Teen Program
115 Grassmere Avenue
(905) 723-0036 Ext. 227 or www.ochc.ca
Ages: 11 – 18 years
The Youth Centre
360 Bayly Street West
Brooklin Community Centre and Library
8 Vipond Rd.
(905) 430-4300 Ext. 6521
Ages: 12-18 years of age
Pape Adolescent Resource Centre (PARC)
469 Pape Avenue
Ages: 14 and up
Monday to Friday 9:00-5:00pm