Manitoba Government News Release–The province is extending supports and services to all young adults who would otherwise age out of the Manitoba Child and Family Services (CFS) system during the continued response to COVID-19 as the government takes further steps to protect Manitobans, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“Although our province continues to recover from the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, our government recognizes that many Manitobans still need help and protection,” said Squires. “This extension will ensure that young people aging out of CFS care have ongoing financial support and other assistance to promote a successful transition to independence.”

The Manitoba government will continue to extend supports to all youth currently in care who turn 18 between March 23 and Sept. 23, 2021. This will include extending foster care placements and ensuring that those who choose to move out of foster care continue to receive financial support, the minister noted.

Many youth leaving care at the age of majority choose to transition to an Agreement with a Young Adult, which provides continued care and maintenance funding to assist in the move to independence. These agreements are voluntary and available to young adults up to the age of 21. Individuals who currently have voluntary agreements in place will continue to receive this assistance over the same period, regardless of their age.

The minister said the province will work with child welfare authorities and agencies to ensure funding and supports are in place to make this possible. She noted the change will provide the supports needed to set CFS-involved youth and young adults on a path toward life-long success.

A number of other changes have been put in place to support children in care and the child welfare system during the COVID-19 response. Foster home and residential care licences will be extended for 60 days to ensure a continuation of care. The province has activated a mutual aid agreement with child welfare authorities to help ensure staff and supports are available when needed. The province also continues to share current and accurate information on best practices for children, families, care providers and other partners, based on public health advice.