TELUS to provide free smartphones and data plans to youth leaving foster care in Quebec
TELUS and Centre Jeunesse partners to keep vulnerable Canadian youth safe and connected to vital resources with expanded TELUS Mobility for Good™ program
Montreal, QC - Beginning today, more young people who have aged out of foster care in Quebec can stay connected to their essential network through a program offered by TELUS, Centre Jeunesse and the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada. First launched by TELUS and the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada in British Columbia in 2017, then adapted to Quebec in 2018 as a pilot project in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Chaudières-Appalaches, Quebec City and Montreal with Centre Jeunesse, the program, offering a free smartphone and a fully subsidized plan from TELUS for two years, has been gradually extended to all of Canada, in rural regions and in urban centers alike, due to its success and its positive impact on youth in their transition to independent living.
“The expansion of our Mobility for Good program across Quebec is reflective of TELUS’ long-standing commitment to leveraging our world-leading technology to improve the social, educational and economic outcomes of our fellow Canadians. This is particularly critical as we collectively navigate the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic” said François Gratton, executive vice-president, TELUS group president and CEO of TELUS Health and TELUS Quebec. “Our TELUS team is pleased to extend this vital lifeline to more youth across the province, enabling them to begin their independent lives feeling safer, secure and more connected to the people, resources and opportunities that matter most to our future leaders and change-makers.”
Every year thousands of youth age out of Canada’s child welfare system and are no longer eligible for the government support they had been receiving while in care. With more than 5,400 youth already enrolled nationwide, TELUS Mobility for Good provides youth transitioning from care with a free smartphone and free TELUS mobile rate plan, 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.
According to a 2019 survey by the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, 85% of youth who participate in TELUS’ Mobility for Good program have found the program helped them connect with family and friends and their support network, relieve financial stress, and access resources in times of crisis. This has become even more critical as financial and socioeconomic pressures have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. "The transition out of care is overwhelming mentally and financially. A guaranteed cell phone plan ensured I had access to a vast amount of resources for two years, which helped ease my transition out of care,” said Suzie Brooks, former youth in care. “I had so many other responsibilities and felt so alone handling them, so the TELUS Mobility for Good program helped me when I needed it most."
According to an internal survey conducted in 2019, 90% of young people who participated in the program in Quebec believe that TELUS’ Mobility for Good program should continue to exist. The majority of survey respondents say the program has helped them find jobs, stay connected with family and friends, and improve their financial situation in times of crisis. This has become even more critical as financial and socio-economic pressures intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The transition out of services for vulnerable youth is a hardship in itself, both mentally and financially. A cell phone plan gave me access to a large amount of resources during a difficult time in my life. It also helped me develop my independence. » said Jacques Massicotte, participant of the program. “I had so many new responsibilities and I often felt helpless to manage them. The TELUS Mobility for Good program helped me when I needed it most. "
“We are working together with TELUS to provide the most vulnerable young people with invaluable help to search for a place to live, seek job opportunities, and stay in touch with friends and vital support networks,” Jean Paiement, responsible for the pilot project in Montreal and assistant to the direction of the Youth Program of the CIUSSS du Center-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal. “We are incredibly grateful to be able to know that more young people in difficulty will have access to this program in Quebec.”
"The pandemic has underscored the importance of connectivity, especially for the most vulnerable populations," said Renée Labelle, reintegration educator at the CIUSSS du Center-Sud-de-Île-de-Montréal. “Smartphones are essential in helping them achieve their independence and we are delighted to expand the Mobility for Good program, which has proven to be successful in its two years as a pilot project, so that more can stay connected to those who matter most to them. "
TELUS Mobility for Good is part of the TELUS Connecting for Good portfolio of programs, which ensures our world-leading technology can create meaningful change by bridging digital divides and ensuring equal access to technology for Canadians in need. Additional programs include:
TELUS Internet for Good, offering high speed broadband Internet to qualified low-income families, people living with disabilities, and students for only $9.95 per month;
TELUS Mobility for Good, offering a free smartphone and a fully subsidized 3GB data plan to youth transitioning out of foster care for two years;
TELUS Tech for Good, helping differently abled Canadians facing challenges using smartphones and tablets with customized technology solutions that help them live more independently
TELUS Health for Good, enabling TELUS mobile health clinics to bring primary healthcare directly to people in need living on the streets in urban centres across Canada.
TELUS also empowers Canadians of all ages to stay safe in our digital world with online resources and workshops through TELUS WiseⓇ, which covers topics including protecting your online security, privacy and reputation, rising above cyberbullying, and using technology responsibly.
Youth who are currently transitioning from care, or have already transitioned from care and are aged 18 to 26 can apply for the program at telus.com/mobilityforgood. For more information on the TELUS’ Connecting for Good portfolio of programs or to determine eligibility, please visit telus.com/allconnectedforgood.
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications and information technology company with $14.7 billion in annual revenue and 15.2 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video and security. We leverage our global-leading technology to enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. TELUS Health is Canada's largest healthcare IT provider, and TELUS International delivers the most innovative business process solutions to some of the world’s most established brands.
Driven by our passionate social purpose to connect all Canadians for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired our team members and retirees to contribute more than $700 million and 1.3 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world.