Many individuals and families are in transition due to social, demographic and economic changes. A transition is when a person experiences or makes a change in their life, such as starting or leaving school, learning a new skill, getting a job or finding a place to live. Families experience transitions when a child is born, moves away or when experiencing loss, separation, divorce or remarriage. In their middle and later years, increasing numbers of Canadians are navigating increasing health needs while caring for aging parents. Other transitions include incarceration and re-integration and moving in and out of specialized care settings.
Everyone experiences transitions at different times in their lives, and can be exciting and challenging for many people. Low-income and vulnerable people are highly sensitive to change and require social and economic supports. For example, for survivors of trauma, transitional housing provides a place to stay, along with other assistance and supportive services temporarily, while they work on healing from their experience and securing permanent housing in the longer term. Loss of economic status in early childhood may be associated with an increase in the risk of child behavioural issues, which is reduced by supporting maternal mental health, specifically psychological distress. And when Canadian youth transitioning into stable housing are supported by programming building identity capital, providing career direction and reaffirming potential, the outcomes include improvements in self-esteem, confidence and physical community re-integration. Additionally, for those leaving incarceration, life skills and job training position people to achieve their full potential, and contribute to their community in a meaningful way.