What is a Voluntary Youth Service Agreement (VYSA)?
A VYSA is a contract between you and the CAS or Agency to receive their services. You have a right to consent or refuse to enter into a VYSA; and you can end a VYSA if you no longer want to be part of the agreement.
Before signing a VYSA, you will be given a lawyer through the Office of the Children’s Lawyer for legal advice and representation.
What if the CAS or Agency refuses to give me a VYSA?
If you ask a CAS or Agency for a VYSA, they are required to notify the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL); and a lawyer from the OCL will contact you. You have the right to speak to an OCL lawyer even if the CAS or Agency does not agree to offer you a VYSA; and you can the OCL lawyer for help getting a VYSA.
You can also:
- ask an adult you trust to help advocate for you,
- call Justice for Children and Youth to speak to a lawyer for advice and assistance
- call or complete a complaint form online with the Ombudsman’s Children and Youth in Care team: www.ombudsman.on.ca
What happens after I sign the VYSA?
If you enter into a VYSA, a Voluntary Youth Services Plan must be created within 30 days of signing the VYSA. This plan will include finding you a place to live and provide other supports, such as financial and social supports, planning for post secondary education, transitioning into adulthood, and assisting with developing and/or maintaining cultural connections.
What happens when I turn 18?
If you are on a VYSA that ends on your 18th birthday, you will be entitled to on-going support and services to live on your own until your 23rd birthday.
If you are First Nations, Inuit or Métis, these supports and services may continue until your 26th birthday.