Learn about the OW rules for people under 18
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Question & AnswerI’m under 18 and don’t live with my parents. Can I get OW?
Ontario Works (OW) will want to know where you live and who you live with.
Your living arrangements must make it possible for you to follow OW rules.
Being supervised by an adult
OW can say that you have to stay in contact with an agency or a responsible adult who agrees to:
- help you follow OW’s rules
- report you to OW if you don’t follow the rules
OW might even want you to live with this person. But they can’t make you do this.
Getting your assistance
In most cases, OW will not pay any money directly to you.
OW pays your assistance to a “trustee” that they choose. But you can suggest someone if you know an adult who you trust and who is willing to do this.
If you don’t know anyone, OW is supposed to find a trustee for you. Your trustee can be an adult or a community agency.
If OW can’t find a trustee for you, they may be able to pay you directly.
If you have a child
You have to take part in a program called Learning, Earning and Parenting (LEAP) if all of the following apply:
- you’re 16 or 17
- you have a child of your own
- you have not finished high school
An OW worker will make a LEAP plan for you that includes:
- going to school or another educational program
- doing activities to help you get ready for work and find a job
- taking a parenting program approved by OW
OW may also ask you to apply for child benefits.