Monday, May 10

Child abuse: Quebec does not commit to immediately increasing services

The government says it welcomes the recommendations of the Laurent Commission on youth protection, but it does not intend to immediately commit to creating more positions to meet the needs on the front line.

Minister Carmant explains that “we want to see that the available positions are filled” before considering adding new ones. He indicates that “in vain we add positions, our workers are leaving”. So to begin with, in his words, “we value their work”.

He did not indicate how he intends to go about it, while repeating that “we must let the pawns fall into place and we will see if that will be enough”.

How long would it take to add resources, as recommended by the Commission? “We’re not going to wait forever,” Minister Carmant was content to say.

According to the data presented in the report, the current costs of child abuse have an annual impact of around $ 4 billion.

At a press conference, Minister Carmant, flanked by his colleague Mathieu Lacombe, Minister of Families, indicated that an interministerial committee would examine the priorities for implementing the recommendations.

For Professor Jade Bourdages from the School of Social Work at UQAM, it is already interesting to observe the differences between the report and what the government is saying. “Regarding the overrepresentation of blacks and aboriginals in the system, for example, Minister Carmant said he intended to make families better understand the services available to them. As if it is the families who do not understand, whereas the report speaks rather of the practices of an entire system which lead these people to find themselves put aside, on the one hand, and overrepresented on the other hand in these institutions. ! “

The Laurent report was welcomed by many groups. Michelle Goyette, president of the Order of Criminologists, “wants the recommendations to be applied to help curb the exodus” of workers, she told the Duty.

Geneviève Rioux, president of the Federation of foster families, considers it fortunate that the report proposes to support young people for longer. Minister Carmant said he was initially surprised and then agreed to support young people up to the age of 25. “I was expecting 21,” he said.

Minister Mathieu Lacombe echoed the conclusion of the Laurent Commission, indicating that “we must move from a ‘Quebec mad about its children’ to a ‘Quebec worthy of its children'”, an allusion to Camil’s report. Bouchard deposited in 1991.

That the emphasis must finally be placed on prevention, observes Camil Bouchard in an interview at the Duty, that’s what everyone has been saying for a long time. “Mme Laurent said that mistreatment was a public health issue. That is true. So why is it not asking Public Health to bear the responsibility and to see, everywhere in the territory, to be held accountable? Employment, isolation, housing, under-education, family dynamics are factors to consider. We missed the opportunity to name someone who could get their teeth into all of this. “

It would also have been necessary to say clearly, according to him, the “disaster of the Barrette reform for social services” rather than trying to develop, within the CISSS, a false autonomy. “If you have a plastic bag over your head and it suffocates you, you have to make an effort to remove it, even if it’s complicated,” he says.

Lionel Carmant said that several measures recommended by the Laurent report were already put forward, such as the mandatory declaration of pregnancy. But from the outset, this measure was not unanimous. APTN, the indigenous peoples’ television network, has conducted an investigation which shows that this measure has effects that amount to profiling. In Abitibi-Témiscamingue, approximately 30% of reports at birth concern Aboriginals. Will such a measure simply lead to more reports?

“We are in a period of euphoria with regard to this report,” observes Professor Bourdage. “All the players have been heard, but not all are going in the same direction. We will have to take the time to see where all this can go. “

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