Child Welfare and Youth Homelessness in Canada: A Proposal for Action

Childwelfare and Youth Homelessness

Key findings:

  • 57.8% of youth experiencing homelessness reported some type of involvement with child protection services over their lifetime.
  • 63.1% of youth who are homeless report experiencing childhood trauma, abuse, and/or neglect - a key cause of involvement with child welfare.
  • 73.3% of youth who became homeless before the age of 16 reported involvement with child protection services.
  • Compared to the general public (Statistics Canada, 2011), youth experiencing homelessness are 193 times more likely to have been involved with the child welfare system than the general public.
  • 31.5% of youth who are homeless report their first contact with the welfare system at the age of 6, with 53% reporting continued involvement beyond the age of 16.
  • Indigenous youth make up 7% of the total population of young Canadians, yet make up half of individuals involved in child protection services (Statistics Canada, 2011).




Toronto Star Editorial