According to the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, right now there are approximately 63,000 Canadian children living in permanent care with foster families, extended family, or in group homes. Across the country, 235,000 children and youth have been identified as having experienced or being at risk of experiencing abuse and neglect. These children and youths often experience difficulties gaining access to adequate education opportunities, especially when it comes to post-secondary education. For every 1,000 youths in Canadian foster care, only eight go on to graduate with a post-secondary education. One of the largest barriers to entry for children in foster care is the financial burden that comes along with post-secondary education.
In response to the growing number of foster children and youth in care that struggle to afford post-secondary studies, Storwell has developed the Storwell Foster Children Bursary Program. For over a decade, Storwell has helped numerous students across Canada achieve their educational goals. The aim of the Foster Children Bursary Program is to provide foster children and youth in care with resources and opportunities that might be otherwise unavailable to them. With the proper tools, these students can work towards building a better life for themselves through the pursuit of higher education.
Another hurdle that foster children must overcome in their pursuit of post-secondary education is the stigma associated with growing up in the foster care system, which stops many students from reaching out and asking for the assistance that they require. Hopefully, as more initiatives like the Storwell Foster Children Bursary become available and education about foster care becomes more widespread, this stigma will begin to dissipate and foster children and youth in care will be able to receive the attention and support that they deserve.
Storwell offers an annual bursary of $2,000 to help foster children attend post-secondary schools and to offer a hand up as they make their way forward in life. The bursary application deadline is September 1st. Eligibility requirements and access to the application form can be found at: https://www.storwell.com/bursary-application