March 2nd 2023
Storwell Provides an Annual Bursary for Former Foster Children and Youth in Care Seeking Post-Secondary Education
Foster children and youth in care continue to be one of the most underrepresented groups when in it comes to financial support for post-secondary education. There are very few bursaries and scholarships targeted towards this demographic, which receive relatively little support once they exit the foster care system. The financial burden of post-secondary school is often too great for foster children to overcome, which is why for every 1,000 youths in Canadian foster care, only 8 go on to graduate with a post-secondary education.
The financial struggle of post-secondary education is felt particularly strongly by Indigenous children, who continue to be massively overrepresented in the Canadian foster care system. Census data from 2016 shows that Indigenous children aged 0 to 14 make up 7.7% of all Canadian children. But they represent over 52% of children in foster care in private homes. In recent years, there has been a call for greater cultural competency amongst social workers and administers so that better methods can be used to asses Indigenous families, which take culture into account and will hopefully lead to a reduced number of Indigenous children being taken from their homes unnecessarily.
Another major issue that foster children and youth in care face after they age out of care is gaining access to safe, stable, and affordable housing. There is a significant relationship between adult homelessness and a history of living in foster care. A Raising the Roof study from 2009 with street-involved youth found that 43% of survey respondents had also been in foster care. Research has shown that adults with a bachelor’s degree earn over $1 million more during their careers compared to workers with a high school diploma alone. This puts former foster children and youth in care at a severe disadvantage as this demographic is significantly less likely to pursue post-secondary education compared to their peers.
To help combat the lack of support that foster children and youth in care receive when it comes to financial aid, Storwell Self Storage decided to create the Storwell Foster Children Bursary Program. Storwell has been providing affordable self-storage units in Toronto for over 20 years and is devoted to giving back to the community through various charities and social initiatives. This is an annual award of $2,000 to help foster children pursue post-secondary education. Eligibility requirements and access to the application form can be found at: https://www.storwell.com/bursary-application
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