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Youth: Taking Care of Basic Needs on Your Own

Will you soon be 18 and living on your own? Were you once in care of children’s services? Use this quick guide to figure out how to meet your basic needs.

When you turn 18, you’ll be considered an adult. Your resources and supports will change. But you’ll still need a place to live and money for food and other necessities. These are your basic, everyday needs. You’ll also need to know how to access health care.

Figure out how you will meet your basic needs

Do you have Children’s Services status or are you in care now?

Then your caseworker will be working with you on a transition plan. The plan will help you find resources to take care of your everyday needs.

Were you once in care of Children’s Services or receiving services?

Then you may still qualify for supports to cover your basic living expenses as you become independent. To find out:

  • Call your caseworker.
  • If you don’t remember your caseworker’s name, call the office where you used to go.
  • If you are living in a different town or region, call a local office.

What if you don’t qualify for support from family or children’s services and are unable to cover your daily living costs?

Check out the following resources. They can help you make your transition to independent living:

Take care of your health

To be independent, you need to take care of your day-to-day health and get help for new health problems as they arise.

For most health services, you’ll need an Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) Card. Find out how to apply.

How to connect with a health care provider

Addiction and mental health

For help with substance abuse issues and support for making change, check the Alberta Health Services (AHS) Addiction & Mental Health page.

Get immediate help and support for issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and trauma:

Sexual and reproductive health

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has useful information about sexual and reproductive health. To find programs and services, including birth control and pregnancy tests, contact a clinic in your community:

  • Go to the AHS Find Programs & Services page.
  • Choose the Service Type Reproduction and sexual health from the dropdown menu.
  • Select a Location or enter your postal code.
  • Click the Search button.
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