York University’s Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) will co-host an international symposium on youth transitions from child protection services that will bring together over 100 policymakers, researchers and service providers from across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.
From Oct. 12 to 13, the International Transitions from Child Protection Symposium in Richmond, B.C., will examine the challenges associated when youth “age out” of the child protection system and lose the supports they once received.
This transition often finds youth without appropriate housing, education, employment or emotional support, making them susceptible to homelessness and other adverse outcomes. A COH study called “Without a Home” found that 57.8 per cent of youth experiencing homelessness were involved with child protection services in the past. Furthermore, Indigenous children make up a disproportionately large percentage of children in care, with those experiencing homelessness even more likely (70.5 per cent) to report involvement with child protection services.
The symposium, co-hosted with A Way Home Canada, will further consider the subject, as well as the gaps and challenges within the systems meant to protect and support vulnerable youth. Addressing the transition experience requires a comprehensive, multi-sector approach that spans government at all levels and various sectors, including social services, health care, policing and justice.
The event’s sessions will explore how to improve transitions by bringing together decision-makers, researchers, policymakers, service providers, and people with lived experience in child protection and youth homelessness. The goal is to identify promising practices and opportunities for action, ensuring successful transitions to adulthood, preventing youth homelessness and fostering positive life outcomes.
The symposium represents a first-of-its-kind opportunity for governments, communities and researchers to learn, grow and work together to co-design what partnerships, actions and shared responsibility can look like. It is sponsored by the Home Depot Canada Foundation and Porticus.