Young people leaving foster care in Manitoba can stay connected with their vital support networks though a new program offered by TELUS and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.
The TELUS Mobility for Good™ program provides youth transitioning from care with access to a free smartphone and fully subsidized mobile plan from TELUS for two years. The program has the potential to help 2,400 youth in Manitoba stay connected with friends, potential employers and peers, helping to prevent social isolation during a vulnerable stage of their lives as they transition to independent living. Youth transitioning or who have already transitioned from care aged 18 to 26 can apply for the program through Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada by visiting www.cafdn.org/for-youth/telus-mobility-good/.
“Without the support of permanent families, youth transitioning out of care are on their own and a smartphone is critical to helping them achieve independence,” says Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, the country’s leading charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth growing up in the child welfare system. “We are working together with TELUS to meet an urgent need for our most vulnerable young people that will enable them to search for somewhere to live, look for job opportunities and stay in touch with friends and vital support networks.”
Each year approximately 2,300 youth, as young as 18, age out of Canada’s child welfare system, and are no longer eligible for the type of support they have been receiving while in care. They are often underprepared to transition to independent life and do not have the support of permanent families to help them get on their feet. Without the proper resources available, many young people leaving care find the transition to independence difficult to navigate.
“The expansion of our Mobility for Good program into Manitoba reflects TELUS’ long-standing commitment to leveraging our world-leading technology to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our fellow Canadians,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “Through TELUS Mobility for Good, we are helping vulnerable young Canadians realize their full potential by connecting youth transitioning out of foster care to the people, information, resources, as well as the educational and health opportunities that will enable them to participate – and succeed – in our digital society. In collaboration with Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, we will ensure thousands more young Canadians begin their independent lives feeling safer, more connected and better prepared for a successful transition to independence.”
The TELUS Mobility for Good program, first launched in British Columbia in 2017, followed by Quebec and Ontario and most recently, New Brunswick, provides youth transitioning from care with a smartphone and TELUS mobile plan at $0 per month, including unlimited nationwide talk and text and up to 3GB of monthly data usage. While TELUS is providing the service to youth for free, the bills will appear in the youth’s name to help them build positive credit and gain the skills required to manage their finances in the future. TELUS Mobility for Good in Manitoba is part of a broader national program that will expand to more provinces across Canada later this year, including the province of New Brunswick, which is joining the program today.
For more information on the TELUS Mobility for Good Program in Manitoba or to apply, please visit: www.cafdn.org/for-youth/telus-mobility-good/.