TELUS to provide free smartphones and data plans to youth leaving foster care in Northern Canada
TELUS and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada partner to keep vulnerable Canadian youth safe and connected to vital resources with expanded TELUS Mobility for Good™ program
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Beginning today, young people who have aged out of foster care in Northern Canada can stay connected to vital support networks through a new program offered by TELUS and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada. The TELUS Mobility for Good™ program first launched in British Columbia in 2017, followed by Ontario, Alberta and select regions in Quebec in 2018, and New Brunswick and Manitoba in 2019. Now expanding to Saskatchewan, Northern Canada, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and P.E.I., TELUS’ Mobility for Good™ will help youth in the region stay connected with access to a free smartphone and fully subsidized plan from TELUS for two years.
“The expansion of our Mobility for Good program into Northern Canada 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 Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. “Our TELUS team is pleased to extend this vital lifeline to more youth across the country, 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."
“We are working together with TELUS to provide our country’s most vulnerable young people with a lifeline that will enable them to search for a place to live, seek job opportunities, and stay in touch with friends and vital support networks,” said Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada. “We are incredibly grateful to be able to expand this offering to even more youth in the North.”
“The Mobility for Good initiative will provide Yukon youth who are aging out of care with a much-needed resource,” said Pauline Frost, Yukon’s Minister of Health and Social Services. “These phones will help them connect with education, housing and important health and social services as they transition to adulthood and gain independence. We are proud to collaborate with Mobility for Good and hope that this support will help youth attain their dreams and goals. Thanks to TELUS for bringing this program to the North.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of connectivity, especially for our country’s most vulnerable populations,” said Tammy Roberts, Executive Director, Foster Family Coalition of the NWT. “For youth leaving foster care, a smartphone is critical to helping them achieve independence and we are thrilled to welcome the TELUS Mobility for Good program into the province so even more youth can stay connected to what matters 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.