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TELUS and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada are partnering to help youth transitioning from foster care stay connected in our digital world
Toronto, ON – Young people leaving foster care in Ontario will be able to stay connected with their vital support networks thanks to a new collaboration between TELUS and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada (CAFC). TELUS is expanding its Mobility for Good™ program to Ontario, offering youth transitioning from care a free smartphone and fully subsidized plan from TELUS for two years. The program will assist up to 7,200 youth in the province who qualify to 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.
“For youth transitioning out of care, a smartphone is a lifeline to helping them achieve independence,” says Valerie McMurtry, President and CEO, Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada. “TELUS’ commitment to provide these youth with a life-changing and potentially life-saving connection not only helps to bridge the digital divide in Canada, but it will enable these young people to search for somewhere to live, look for job opportunities and stay in touch with friends and support networks, which is so important when you are living on your own for the first time without the support of a permanent family.”
The expansion of TELUS Mobility for Good in Ontario builds upon TELUS’ commitment to bridge the digital divide for Canadians, and strive for social and digital equality in our all-connected world. The program first launched last year in British Columbia, and earlier this month, expanded to Quebec. The program 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 and CAFC plan to expand the program to more provinces across Canada later this year.
“At TELUS, a cornerstone of our social purpose is our heartfelt commitment to helping youth rise above and realise their full potential,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. “The TELUS Mobility for Good program is one way we can help Canadian youth transitioning out of foster care remain connected to the many opportunities that encourage their full participation in our digital economy. Working with the incredible team at Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, we are proud to extend TELUS Mobility for Good from B.C. into Ontario and Quebec, and look forward to inviting young people in other provinces to participate later this year. Indeed, through the expansion of our successful program, TELUS and Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada will ensure thousands more young Canadians begin their independent lives feeling safer, more connected and better prepared for their future and the opportunities and challenges it entails.”
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.
In addition to Mobility for Good, in 2016 TELUS introduced Internet for Good in British Columbia and Alberta, which offers $9.95 per month Internet to low-income single-parent families who receive financial or disability assistance from the provinces.
“After transitioning out of foster care at 16, I had to figure out how to live on my own and the one thing that kept me going was being able to stay connected with others through my cellphone,” says Chantal VanLeeuwen, a Mobility for Good recipient. “I now see first-hand as a child protection worker that every youth who transitions out of care faces the challenge of requiring a cellphone and thanks to the Mobility for Good program, they will get a helping hand to connect with the support needed to build their independence.”
For more information on the TELUS Mobility for Good Program in Ontario or to apply, please visit: http://www.cafdn.org/for-youth/telus-mobility-good/
About Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada
Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is the country’s leading national charity dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth in the child welfare system. We raise and grant funds and deliver a wide range of high-impact programs and services to provide access to the opportunities these children need to reach their potential against all odds. Last year, through the support of our generous donors, we transformed the lives of over 24,000 children and youth. All children have the right to become healthy, contributing members of society. Our kids need your help to get there. They depend on us. We depend on you. Join us and help Canada’s most vulnerable kids break the cycle and define a vision for themselves of a successful future. Learn more at cafdn.org
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $13.6 billion of annual revenue and 13.1 million subscriber connections, including 8.9 million wireless subscribers, 1.8 million high-speed Internet subscribers, 1.3 million residential network access lines and 1.1 million TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment, video and home security. TELUS is also Canada's largest healthcare IT provider, and TELUS International delivers business process solutions around the globe.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed over $525 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 8.7 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by President and CEO Darren Entwistle, TELUS’ 13 Canadian community boards and 5 International boards have led the Company’s support of grassroots charities and have contributed more than $67 million in support of 6,283 local charitable projects, enriching the lives of more than 2 million children and youth, annually. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition. For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.
For media inquiries:
Lisa Lipkin Communications for Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada
TELUS Social and Media Relations