Independence

Preparing for independence

At age 18, you are now an adult and the Crown Ward Order has expired. 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

Continued Care and Support for Youth (CCSY) is a voluntary agreement between the former Crown Ward and the Durham CAS. This agreement provides former Crown Wards a monthly allowance to fund expenses such as rent, food, clothing, hygiene, phone and transportation.

This is a customized agreement to meet agreed upon goals in order to stay on CCSY until age 21. This allows former Crown Wards age 18-21 to continue their schooling and receive emotional and monetary support from the DCAS. Speak to your 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, counselling and other life skills supports, including career coaching, financial planning, legal advice and more. Eligible youth can access ABI: Aftercare Benefits or 800-718-1797.

Ontario Child Benefit Equivalent (OCBE)

Durham CAS 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;
  • 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 worker for more details on eligibility and how to access the OCBE Activities Program and OCBE Savings Program.

Start Up Fund: CCSY youth are also eligible for a one-time start up fund of $500 from the DCAS to purchase furnishings for their new residence. Speak to your worker for more details on how to request the Start Up Fund.

Budgeting and Money Management: Below are some helpful tips and strategies on how to budget your money.

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 – 905-427-7123
Salvation Army – Bowmanville – 905-623-2185
Clarington East Food Bank – 905-987-1418
Adventist Community Services Centre – Oshawa – 905-433-8800
New Life Neighbourhood Centre – 905-404-2004
Durham Outlook for the Needy – St. Vincent’s Kitche – 905-434-7543
Salvation Army – Oshawa – 905-723-7422 Ext. 21
Simcoe Hall Settlement House– 905-728-7525
St. Peter’s Food Bank (South Oshawa Residents only) – 905-728-8080
The Eating Well Ministries – 905-579-1706

St. Paul’s On the Hill Community
1537 Pickering Pkwy.
Pickering, ON
Phone: (905) 839-9537

Hours of Operation: Tuesday & Friday

10:00am ““ 12:00pm

Whitby

Salvation Army – Whitby
607 Palace St.
Whitby, ON
Phone: (905) 430-3454

Hours of Operation: Mon – Fri 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Ontario Association of food banks

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 worker and your lawyer.

You 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, gender identity or religion.
  • Participate in cultural activities, heritage and traditions related to your family background.

If you feel your rights have been violated or you have other questions related to your care, contact the Ontario Ombudsman or at 800-263-2841

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 program for youth in care of Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario.

YouthCAN Goals:

  • Advocate on behalf of youth in care in Ontario Children’s Aid Societies.
  • Increase youth input into policy, programs and activities.
  • Be a resource to CAS’s, youth networks and organizations

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 Durham CAS, you are ineligible for OW or ODSP at the same time.

Contact the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.

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

cra-arc.gc.ca/volunteer/

Emergency Shelters

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.

82 Kings Crescent, Ajax, Ontario
(905) 239-9477
durhamyouth.com

Muslim Welfare Centre

Muslim Welfare Centre is an emergency shelter for women and children of any denomination. The shelter can be accessed Monday – Sunday 24 hours/day.

425 Dundas Street East, Whitby, Ontario
(905) 665-0424
muslimwelfarecentre.com

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.

133 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa, Ontario
(905) 433-0254
cornerstonedurham.com

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 CAS offers several life skill programs for youth in care 14-20 years of age. Contact your worker 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.
Oshawa, ON.
(905) 433-1551

For youth age 14 to 2, in the care of the Society.

Tuesday and Thursday (3 – 6pm)

McKinney Centre

222 McKinney Drive,
Whitby, ON.
(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
Bowmanville, ON.
(905) 623-6814

Ages: 12-18 years

Tues-Fri: 3 pm to 8 pm

Carea

115 Grassmere Avenue
Oshawa, ON.
(905) 723-0036 Ext. 227
careachc.ca

Ages: 11 – 18 years

The Youth Centre

360 Bayly Street West
Ajax, ON.
(905) 428-1212
careachc.ca

Brooklin Community Centre and Library

8 Vipond Rd.
Brooklin, ON.
(905) 430-4300 Ext. 6521

Ages: 12-18 years of age
Mon-Fri: 4pm-8pm
Sat: 1pm-8pm

Pape Adolescent Resource Centre (PARC)

469 Pape Avenue
Toronto, ON.
(416) 462-1010

Ages: 14 and up

Monday to Friday 9:00-5:00pm