Getting an education is a right often taken for granted, but for children and youth in government care in the Oakville area, a post-secondary education can seem beyond reach.
With no government funding to cover it, the Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton has stepped into the breach, embarking on a $100,000 fund-raising drive to provide bursaries for affected students.
And they’ve gotten a boost from Oakville Community Foundation, which contributed $5,000 to help one student – 20 were awarded bursaries in 2010-11 – continue his or her schooling.
“We’re very excited that our children and youth in care are being given the tools to enable them to graduate high school,” says Tina Blatchford, CAFH Executive Director.
“And the fact our bursary program is flourishing allows them to consider furthering their education and to dream of a positive future, independent of our care,” she says.
The Oakville Community Foundation decided to take action after its 2009 Vital Signs report showed that 14.8 per cent of youth aged 15 to 24 were unemployed in 2006, an increase of 25.4 per cent since 2001.
As well, it revealed that between 1996 and 2006, the number of adult children 25 years or older who were living at home with their parents increased by 58 per cent in Oakville, compared to an increase of 44 per cent across Halton.