This policy directive is issued under s. 42 of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 (CYFSA) to provide additional direction to children's aid societies (societies) with respect to continuity of service to youth in and from care whose care arrangements are scheduled to expire during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Youth in the extended care of a society whose in-care status will expire on their 18th birthday;
  • Youth in the interim care of a society whose in-care status will expire on their 18th birthday;
  • Youth cared for under a customary care agreement immediately before their 18th birthday, where the customary caregiver received a subsidy pursuant to the Ontario Permanency Funding Policy Guidelines; and
  • Youth who have entered into a Voluntary Youth Services Agreement (VYSA) whose agreement will expire on their 18th birthday.

The requirements in this policy directive are consistent with the requirements in Policy Directive CW001-21 in every respect except for an amendment that extends requirements until March 31, 2023.

This directive does not nullify the requirements of other related policy directives but provides further direction to support societies in maintaining a consistent level of care for youth whose care arrangements are scheduled to expire during the pandemic. Other related policy directives include:

Effective date

This policy directive will come into effect on the date of its issuance. As of this date, Policy Directive CW001-21 will no longer be in effect.


On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) assessed COVID-19 as a global pandemic. On March 17, 2020 the Province of Ontario declared a provincial state of emergency under s 7.0.1 (1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This caused a number of establishments across the province to close, including, but not limited to: schools, child care, libraries, bars and restaurants, cinemas, recreational programs, and non-essential businesses. Ontario has experienced subsequent waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to manage the spread of the virus, public health considerations, and re-opening of services and supports for children, youth and families.

The intent of this policy directive is to provide direction to children's aid societies (societies) to maintain current services and supports for youth who turn 18 over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to promote consistency of care and continuity of service during this public health crisis.

When youth reach their 18th birthday while they are the subject of an extended society care order or a customary care agreement or are party to a Voluntary Youth Services Agreement (VYSA), they become eligible to enter into a Continued Care and Support for Youth (CCSY) agreement with a society.

Ontario Regulation: 156/18 General Matters under the Authority of the Minister has been amended to expand CCSY supports until March 31, 2023. During this period:

  • Eligibility for CCSY has been expanded to include youth who were in interim society care on the day before their 18th birthday; and
  • Societies are required to continue to provide care and support to youth receiving services under CCSY agreements, even where the youth turns 21.

This policy directive applies to societies who are entering into CCSY agreements with youth turning 18 years old over the course of pandemic. Societies are required to continue to provide the same supports and services to the youth that the youth received prior to their 18th birthday.

Nothing in this directive prevents societies from taking additional steps to protect and support youth transitioning from care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The directive does not prevent societies from planning for transition with youth who are ready and requesting a transition from their care arrangement.


  1. Societies entering into CCSY agreements with eligible youth who were receiving services from the society immediately prior to their 18th birthday are required to continue to provide the same supports and services the youth received prior to their 18th birthday, unless otherwise refused by the youth. This includes making best efforts to maintain the youth's residential placement or other living arrangements, and any financial support provided to the youth.
  2. Societies will make every effort to facilitate a seamless and timely transition to a CCSY agreement with all eligible youth who turn 18 during the COVID-19 pandemic. A face-to-face meeting is not required to enter this agreement. Societies may facilitate entering CCSY agreements by the use of technology (e.g., teleconference, Skype).
  3. Youth in care who require developmental services can be transitioned to adult residential services where an appropriate placement has been identified and can be safely facilitated. Otherwise, youth will continue to receive supports through a society during the pandemic, and the society will be reimbursed by the developmental services agency, in accordance with current practice, once the transition is facilitated.
  4. The requirements listed in this Directive should in no way interfere with plans to reunify the youth with their family in the event it has been determined to be safe to do so (i.e., child protection concerns have resolved), all public health and safety concerns have been addressed, and it is in the best interest of the youth.

Issuance of policy directive CW001-22: September 21, 2022

Original signed by

David Remington
Assistant Deputy Minister
Child Welfare and Protection Division
Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services