The City of Abbotsford is one of the youngest communities in the Lower Mainland. According to the 2011 Census, 26% of the population is under 19 years of age. More than 37,000 families live in the community representing 79% of the total population. Approximately 17% of children under the age of 18 are considered low-income.
Children are identified as a priority area in Abbotsford Cares. Children’s success in school is considered an important precursor to their success in life. Initiatives that target the early years to increase school success have also been shown to prevent difficult social issues from occurring. Children who are not ready for school may be at risk for negative life consequences. Preventing issues early is better both for communities as a whole, and increases the potential and school success for those children who are vulnerable.
Youth are also a priority in Abbotsford Cares, especially programs and resources for youth who are considered at risk for negative life consequences. At risk youth require specific and targeted recreation, mental health, addiction services and housing to meet their unique needs. Factors such as access, affordability and youth friendly service providers are keys to providing quality programs and interventions for this population.