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Council of Youth
in Care Advocates


About the 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.

Meet The National Council of Youth in Care Advocates

The National Council of Youth in Care Advocates is made up of the following individuals and organizations outlined below. Click on the individual names to check out their bios and learn more about their work!

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Conner Lowes (Alum)

Former Youth in Care & Advocate



Teka Desjarlais (Alum)
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First Nations Former Youth in Care & Advocate



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Francophone Program Coordinator,
Partners for Youth


New Brunswick Youth in Care Network (NB)

Christina McKay

Student Support Case Manager


Futures Forward Program, YES Manitoba (MB)

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Toronto Centre of Excellence on Youth Homelessness Prevention & Policy Coordinator


A Way Home Canada (ON)

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Former Youth in Care & Advocate



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Former Youth in Care & Advocate (NWT)

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

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Cheyanne Ratnam

CEO, Ontario Children's Advancement Coalition (OCAC)



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Youth Council


Collectif Ex Placé DPJ (QC)


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Former Youth in Care & Advocate



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 (see below).

In addition, Dr. Doucet and the National Council have developed the Equitable Standards Evaluation Model that will guide healthy and supported transitions for youth leaving care.


Achievements in Government

Engagement of National Council members, key allies and champions (including MPs and Senators) has increased considerably.

Government decision-makers in several jurisdictions have extended moratoriums or established new extended care initiatives, providing more safety for youth in care.

Key messages are being heard in the House of Commons and Senate via engaged champions who are committed to actively raising the issue with their political peers.

Government decision-makers have requested to be involved and pursue discussion, with 3 Child Protection Ministries committing to the piloting of the Equitable Standards Evaluation Model.

Achievements in the Community

Social media and media engagement has also increased and media features on the Equitable Standards have been positively received and widely shared on social media.

Opportunities for the general public to get involved and support the Equitable Standards have been created via free public webinars and letter templates to MPs and MLAs.

The Equitable Standards and work associated with this project is being noticed across many disciplines, with citations in several reports to date and regular requests for consults from the project lead, Dr. Doucet.

Community-based organizations have requested to be involved and pursue discussion, with 12 organizations from across the country committing to the piloting of the Equitable Standards Evaluation Model. 

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Equitable Standards Letter Templates

Show your support for the Equitable Standards by sending a letter to your Member of Parliament (Federal) and your member of the Provincial/Territorial Legislative Assembly!

Equitable Standard's Letter Template

Watch the Latest Webinar

Learn about the eight Equitable Standards and how they can be implemented at the practice and policy levels, brought to you by the National Council of Youth in Care advocates.

Proudly Supported By:

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