Child welfare legislation in Canada requires youth in long-term government care to transition to adulthood and become self-sufficient at the age of majority – a phenomenon termed as ‘aging out’ of care. Due to this cut-off of services, youth exiting care tend to have limited support networks, and most of their connections during their time in care are formal, paid for and have an expiry date.
Dr. Melanie Doucet, a recent PhD graduate at the McGill School of Social Work and a former youth in care, led a collaborative photovoice project alongside 8 former youth in care in the Greater Vancouver area between the ages of 19 and 29 in the fall of 2017. The Relationships Matter for Youth ‘Aging Out’ of Care project aimed to take a closer look – through the power of images and accompanying captions – at supportive relationships in the lives of young people from care and how those relationships can be developed and nurtured over time. A photo exhibit open to the community was held at the end of the project, and was attended by several key government officials and community organization representatives. This project video was released to raise awareness on the issue of relational permanency for youth in and from care, and to showcase the talents of young people from care in BC.