More social workers have joined the Direction de la protection de la jeunesse (DPJ) in Estrie, but 500 children are still waiting to be taken care of. The organization does its annual review and the number of children on the waiting lists continues to climb.
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486 children are waiting to be evaluated and 44 others have still not met a worker. There are more children on the waiting list, but there are also more reports.
There were 7,958 reports this year compared to 7,744 in 2019-2020. This means an increase of almost 3%. On average, 200 reports are made per week in Estrie. “With the arrival of the red zone last November, we saw a considerable increase in the number of reports. It’s not nothing, ”said the director of youth protection in the Eastern Townships, Johanne Fleurant.
Increase human resources
More than a hundred social workers have been hired since 2019, after the death of the martyred girl from Granby. Despite the number of interveners which has increased, the waiting lists are still long. For the union, this is insufficient.
“There has been an increase in overtime at the DPJ, but what is the state? There was also additional external aid, among others from other regions or other services, which came to help the DYP, but what is this calculation? All the people who have been compulsorily relieved, what is the number of hours? ”Asked the regional representative of the Alliance of Professional and Technical Personnel in Health and Social Services (APTS) in the Eastern Townships, Danny Roulx.
A discriminatory premium
In addition to wondering if the number of employees has really increased or if the increase is rather felt in the number of hours worked by them, Mr. Roulx deplores an unequal situation.
A ministerial decree provides for a bonus of $ 1,000 per month for network employees since August. The union regrets, however, that not everyone is entitled to it. It would seem that those working from home are not entitled to this bonus, whereas “the DPJ strongly encouraged teleworking, among other things because there were not enough offices”. Danny Roulx also mentions that pregnant women who attend a medical appointment during working hours lose their premium. For him, this is not acceptable.
The union still recognizes the efforts made by management to better protect our children. “Protecting children is our priority!” was the slogan of the annual review of the youth protection directorates in the province.