Employing Youth from Care

Bootstraps refers to the absurdly impossible action of “pulling oneself over a fence by one’s bootstraps”.

In today’s complex economy, most young people get their first few jobs through connections. These connections consist of relatives, teachers, coaches, friends and parents of friends.

Young people from foster care can come from families and social networks which are unable to provide these essential connections that allow for labour force integration.

Through the engagement of supportive employers, skills development partners, and wage subsidy opportunities, youth are provided individualized employment supports, job placements and mentorship prospects. These supports direct youth to journey forward towards sustainable employment.

In collaboration with Aunt Leah’s youth services, such as SEFFY (Supporting Education for Foster Youth), The Link, Support Link & Dan’s Legacy, Bootstraps aims to remove barriers to employment. In addition, we enable youth in and from care every opportunity to explore, and advance their skills to find meaningful sustainable employment.

Bootstraps takes a holistic approach to addressing barriers to employment youth may face, while also coaching in critical employability skills.

Participants will devise Individual Employment Plans with an employment specialist. While each will have distinct needs, each participant will have the opportunity to receive employment assistance services, skills training, financial supports, and employment experience.

What’s Provided

Youth with employment barriers will receive the following on a needs basis:

  • Access to free onsite clinical counselling with Dan’s Legacy.
  • Non discriminatory LGBTQ2 nurse practitioner and physical health services.
  • Education supports, including academic upgrading and ABE tutoring.
  • Essential Skills one on one, workshops and group based training.
  • Access to training certificates for employment, including First Aid, WHMIS, Foodsafe, Worldhost.
  • Soft skills training, including interpersonal skills, communications, teamwork, problem solving and time management.
  • Occupational skills training, including but not limited to: forklift training, hairdressing, driver license training.

For Employers:

  • Direct supports with Aunt Leah’s Bootstraps staff.
  • Post job placement support.


A youth formerly in the care of the Ministry of Children and Family Development.


There are several options for employment support, if you’re unsure of which stream best suits you, you can fill out the form below or contact us directly at or by calling 604-516-9241.

Contact the Bootstraps Coordinator

    Bootstraps Employer Contact

    For more information on how your organization can get involved, please contact Aunt Leah’s Bootstraps Employer Engagement Officer Monique Michaud, directly at or call 778-773-8639.

    This program is generously supported by Bootstraps Funders

    Every dollar counts

    Your support helps kids in foster care and young mothers
    achieve a better future.