King's commits to financial support of aged-out foster children
October 27, 2020
King’s University College, along with Huron University College, Brescia University College, and Western University, committed to financial support for up to 35 students who have “aged-out” of the child protection system. This support comes as the four post-secondary institutions have formed a partnership with the Child Welfare Political Action Committee (Child Welfare PAC). This is the largest partnership to date for the Child Welfare PAC in Canada.
“A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. All of us at King’s are dedicated to improving the lives of the poor by breaking down barriers to education. We are humbled to help enable former Crown Wards to be fully part of society by aiding them with a King’s education rooted in social justice, equality and the education of the whole person,” says Dr. David Malloy, Principal of King’s University College.
The Child Welfare PAC helped facilitate this initiative, with up to five students to receive financial assistance at each of Huron, Brescia, King’s, and up to a further 20 at Western for the 2021-22 school year.
“Education levels the playing field for people like me. I am grateful that financial access to university education will no longer be a barrier to social mobility for even more people who were raised in Ontario’s foster care system. If you were or are in foster care, know that Huron, Brescia, King’s, and Western, believe in you,” says Jane Kovarikova, founder of the Child Welfare PAC, former Crown Ward, and current doctoral candidate at Western.
Child Welfare PAC says this is an important step towards their goal to have all 45 of Ontario’s post-secondary institutions join the movement to ensure those raised in care have bright futures. Over the last year, similar initiatives have been secured at Laurentian University, Georgian College and Loyalist College.
Foster children are typically evicted from care at age 18 making hardship all too common. It can take years to achieve stability. As such, financial support without arbitrary age limits reduces barriers allowing former Crown Wards the opportunity to improve their lives. All schools have committed to providing current and former foster children with financial support, regardless of the age they are ready to attend.
“Overcoming adverse childhood experiences is all too often a monumental climb for youth. Now their incredible resilience and perseverance are matched by this gamechanger – top calibre university education from caring and premier schools. Kudos to Western, King’s, Brescia, and Huron,” says Chris Steven, Executive Director and CEO, Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex.
“Education opens doors, inspires, and brightens futures. I am incredibly thankful to Huron, Brescia, King’s, and Western for their commitment to our community. This historic leadership illustrates how Londoners care about one another and promote a kinder, more just, and brighter community. My heartfelt thanks to the community-building vision and compassion of the institution heads, as well as a true leader whose desire to reach backwards brings others forward, PhD candidate Jane Kovarikova. This is life-changing work,” says Terence Kernaghan, MPP for London North Centre.