National Council of Youth in Care Advocates

Youth in the child welfare system abruptly lose support from the state when they reach the age of majority, regardless of their readiness, or their emotional and financial needs.

This pattern of service removal leads to negative outcomes, including a heightened risk for homelessness, unemployment, poverty, poor mental health and early parenthood.

COVID-19 and the socio-economic upheaval associated with the pandemic are exacerbating the already precarious situation of youth in care.

In March 2020, CWLC and A Way Home Canada convened networks of youth in care and youth alumni from care to increase and coordinate their advocacy efforts, taking part in peer coaching and training sessions, and communicating their joint messages to decision makers and the Canadian public.


The National Council of Youth in Care Advocates is made up of the following individuals and organizations: 

Dr. Melanie Doucet

Research Lead

Ashley Bach - Conner Lowes

Youth in Care Canada

Richard Rothenburger

Saskatchewan Youth in Care and Custody Network

Marie Christian

VOICES: Manitoba’s Youth in Care

Jennifer Dupuis

C.A.R.E. Jeunesse (Quebec)

Rachel Gouin

Child Welfare League of Canada

Alisha Bowie

Adoption Council of Canada

Marcelle Partouche and Dez Grégoire

Montreal Youth in Care Alumni Student Association (MYCASA)

Susan Russell​

Fostering Change – First Call BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition

David French

A Way Home Canada

Jessica Knutson and  Amber Moon

Youth Advisory Committee - Vancouver Aboriginal Child and Family Services Society

Cheyanne Ratnam

Ontario Children's Advancement Coalition

Zoe Bourgeois

Partners for Youth (New Brunswick)

Achievements to date:

The National Council of Youth in Care advocates secured temporary moratoriums on youth transitions out of the child protection system during the COVID-19 pandemic in most jurisdictions.

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Under the leadership of Dr. Melanie Doucet, the council has released key recurring recommendations on ‘aging out’ of care that have been put forward by youth in and from care, advocates and researchers from across the country since the late 1980s. Click on the image to the left to access the English report!

Sous la direction de la Dre Melanie Doucet, le Conseil national des défenseurs des jeunes pris en charge a publié un résumé des recommandations récurrentes sur la ‘sortie sèche’ des jeunes pris en charge mises de l’avant par des jeunes qui sont ou ont été pris en charge, des intervenants et des chercheurs depuis la fin des années 1980. Cliquez sur l'image à droit pour en savoir plus!

The Council is currently co-developing universal protocol and policy that will guide healthy and supported transitions for youth leaving care.


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