Anishinaabe Abinoojii Family Services is part of the larger Team representing Kenora and Rainy River district children's aid societies. The Crown Ward Education Team's overall purpose is to develop and initiate strategies to support youth with Crown Wardship status to increase their awareness of, participation in and success at all levels of the educational pathway, including postsecondary education, training and employment.

Jessica Clarke is the Teams Lead Assistant.  She welcomes any current or former crown wards to contact her to chat about their post secondary school plans.  She can be reached via email at jessica.clarke@krrcfs.ca.

Lori Nutley is the contact person at AAFS.  Lori is available to provide presentations to groups about the teams goals and support options.  Former Crown Wards are welcome to sit on the Youth Advisory Board or become a mentor to other crown wards.

Lori can be reached at lori.nutley@aafs.ca, or by phone at 807-468-6224 or 1-866-420-9990.

If you or your organization have a common interest with the above Team purpose, please contact Lori to request a meeting.  The Team meets monthly.

 

Living and Learning Grant (LLG) and Tuition Aid for Youth Leaving Care Program

Effective August 01, 2013, eligible youth between the ages of 21 and 24 inclusive are eligible to review $500.00 per month during the school year.

To be eligible to receive the LLG, a student:

  • Must be a previous recipient of, or would have been eligible to receive CCYS (formerly ECM);
  • Must be aged 21 to 24 inclusive;
  • Must be enrolled in a post-secondary program leading to a degree, diploma or certificate at an institution in Canada approved for Ontario student loan purposes;
  • May be enrolled in a first-entry or second entry program;
  • Must be a Canadian citizen, protected person, or permanent resident;
  • Must be a resident of Ontario as required for fulltime student eligibility under OSAP
  • Must be enrolled as a fulltime student taking at least 60% of a full course load, or at least 40% of a full course load if the student has a permanent disability;
  • Must be satisfactorily completing the academic requirements of their program of study; and
  • Must not be restricted from receiving OSAP loan or grant funding.  For example, a student may be restricted if the student has filed for bankruptcy, or has committed fraud or has been convicted of an offence under the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act.

The LLG will have no impact on the amount of OSAP loans and other grants that a youth may be eligible to receive.  The LLG will be issued to qualifying students in addition to their OSAP loans and other grants. The LLG will not be considered a resource in the OSAP need assessment.

The LLG is exempt from OW and ODSP income assessments, which means that students who are on OW or ODSP, and who receive the LLG will not see a change in the level of support provided to them through OW or ODSP.

 

Tuition Aid for Youth Leaving Care Program 

In 2013-14, MTCU (Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities) intends to provide the grant as a lump sum of up to $2,000 for each term of study, through the fall, winter, and/or spring OSAP disbursements, to a maximum of $6,000 for the school year, based on the youth's involvement in an OSAP eligible program and the number of terms in the student's study period (e.g., students enrolled in a two term study period would receive up to $4,000).

Students attending an institution that is not participating in the 100% Tuition Aid program will still be eligible to receive the Ontario Access Grant (OAG) for Crown Wards and/or the 30% Ontario Tuition grant.

Unlike the LLG, which is available to youth ages 21 to 24 (inclusive), there is no age requirement associated with this tuition funding.  To access full tuition coverage, youth must apply for OSAP for fulltime Students and be eligible to receive the OAG for Crown Wards, and must be enrolled at a participating college or university.

 

For a full list of participating institutions please visit the following site/link:  Participating Colleges and Universities

For more information on accessing the Tuition for Colleges and Universities, please visit the following site/link: FAQ

 

Aftercare Benefits Initiative (ages 21-25)

The Aftercare Benefits Initiative (ABI) offers free health coverage, including dental, vision, prescription drugs, extended health care, and counselling supports to eligible youth between 21 and 25 years of age, without requiring them to pay for services out of pocket.

Participation in ABI continues to grow, with new youth being added each week and usage increasing each quarter. Today 1,115 youth are enrolled in the program, along with 224 dependent children. An additional 106 youth receiving Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program (and therefore ineligible for the health and dental benefits) are registered for the counselling and life skills support services.

As a reminder, there are two key steps youth must follow to enroll in ABI:

1.       Complete the application form. We recently simplified the online form to make it easier to fill out. 

2.       Obtain a verification from their former worker or CAS. This should be emailed by their worker or a staff from the CAS to abi@oacas.org and must contain the youth’s name, date of birth, and their former status.

 If you’re assisting youth with the application process, please keep these tips in mind:

  • Ensure their eligibility: Youth receiving health benefit coverage through another provider are ineligible (e.g. school, employment, or spouse). Youth receiving Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program are only eligible for the counselling and life skills support services offered through Shepell. They are not entitled to the health and dental benefits of ABI. These youth should follow the application process as outlined above and we will be in touch directly to clarify the coverage available to them
  •  Enter information accurately: It’s important to ensure all spelling is correct, their date of birth is entered properly, and their address is up-to-date (and includes their apartment number, where applicable).
  • Understand payment methods: Youth are not able to pay for services and submit claims for reimbursement. They must find health providers who are willing to bill Green Shield Canada directly on their behalf. Providers can register online at providerconnect.ca or by phone at 1-888-711-1119.

 In that regard, any outreach you can do with providers in your communities – especially with chiropractors, massage therapists, and other extended healthcare providers – to encourage them to join Provider Connect is greatly appreciated. This is of particular relevance for youth in the North and smaller communities, who are having difficulty finding providers who will bill Green Shield Canada on their behalf.

 Additionally, as an ABI Champion you are expected to:

  • Be a program resource for local CAS agencies
  • Educate agency staff about the program and help them through the enrollment process
  • Verify the status of former Crown Wards
  • Conduct outreach with external partners to identify eligible youth

If your role at your agency has changed and you would like to provide an alternate contact for future ABI Champion updates, please let us know.

 Our new set of FAQs is intended to further clarify some of the most common questions we get about the program. Check them out and let us know if we’re missing anything.

 If you need additional promotional materials, including posters, postcards, and brochures to distribute to your local offices or to your community partners, please let us know by email at any time how many you need and where we should ship them.

 Thank you for your continued help in connecting eligible youth to this one-of-a-kind program. Let us know what else we can do to support you to be an effective ABI Champion and advocate.

 Sincerely,

Brynn Clarke, Member Programs Specialist

 Aftercare Benefits Initiative (ABI)
Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies

416-987-2133 | 1-800-718-1797 x 2133

www.oacas.org/abi | abi@oacas.org

 Have a question? Check out our list of FAQs.