Supporting post-secondary for former youth in care

L-R: Kevin Honig, Advancing Futures Program Coordinator, Rebecca Schulz, Children’s Services Minister and Spencer Klug, Advancing Futures graduate meet to discuss post-secondary supports for former children in care.

Advancing Futures provides important transitional supports for current and former youth in care aged 18 to 24.

In addition to funding post-secondary studies, Advancing Futures coordinators also provide important social and emotional supports for youth as they transition into adulthood. They help youth navigate through adult systems, including assisting them with finding an apartment, signing a lease, registering for classes, and other responsibilities. The coordinators also connect youth with mentoring opportunities, so these young people can establish lifelong bonds with positive role models and support systems.

“Youth who are or have been in care deserve to have the same opportunities and supports as other young Albertans, and may face challenges that other young people do not. This investment will ensure vulnerable youth have access to the social, emotional and financial supports they need to reach their post-secondary goals and gain the life skills to be successful young adults.”

Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services

“The road can be bumpy for any young person as they transition into adulthood – especially for youth who are or have been in care. Advancing Futures is more than just the government paying for post-secondary education. We are here to support our students and help them establish and clarify goals and create a clear path to achieving them. We offer support and help them navigate obstacles with the aim of setting them up for a lifetime of success.”

Kevin Honig, coordinator, Advancing Futures

“Without Advancing Futures, achieving my goal of becoming a corporate lawyer would have been so much more difficult. Having support as I work toward my dream is more important than I can say.”

Spencer Klug, Advancing Futures graduate

Quick facts

  • Advancing Futures was established in January 2004 and is the only program of its kind in Canada.
  • The program has an 84% completion rate. Since 2004, more than 2,889 youth have received supports from Advancing Futures and 1,275 youth have graduated with a diploma, certificate or degree.
  • The program provides funding up to $40,000 over four years to cover education costs, including tuition, fees, books and supplies. In addition, the program provides health benefits and a living allowance to help cover necessities like rent, groceries, transportation and subsidized child care.
  • In 2018-19, of the 4,900 potential young people who were eligible to receive the Advancing Futures Bursary, more than 980 submitted an application. Of these, 792 students received funding and support, and were enrolled in 90 institutions and campuses. 

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