Updated: May 13, 2021
REACTION TO GOVERNMENT’S POSITION ON THE RECOMENDATIONS OF THE COMMISSION SPÉCIALE SUR LES DROITS DES ENFANTS ET LA PROTECTION DE LA JEUNESSE
Montréal (Québec) – C.A.R.E. Jeunesse is pleased to hear that the government will be establishing a committee to oversee the implementation of the recommendations laid out by the Laurent Commission. It will be crucial for the committee to incorporate the voices of those who provide youth protection services and the voices of the children, youth, and families receiving those services. A constant feedback loop is needed to ensure that the application of the recommendations meets the needs of those directly impacted by them. C.A.R.E. Jeunesse is delighted to hear that the government will extend support to youth transitioning out of care until the age of 25, however, the form of support needs to be adequate. Extending the existing PQJ program is not sufficient!
C.A.R.E Jeunesse recommends that the government consult with organizations that serve youth leaving youth protection system, such as C.A.R.E Jeunesse, and provide support to these organizations so that young people leaving care truly have a voice and are centered in decisions and interventions which the Commission and Minister Carmant have said is essential. Additionally, Mr. Carmant seems confident that the implementation of prevention services will address the workload of youth protection workers. It is not realistic to expect that this will happen as quickly as he believes. The government needs to keep in mind that in order to serve society’s most vulnerable children and families, there need to be front-line workers. While the government has provided some support to youth protection agencies, it is not sufficient to address the ongoing crisis. The needs of front-line workers need to be prioritized. Finally, Minister Carmant stated today that youth have been permitted to remain in placement during the pandemic. This simply not the case. We have heard regularly from our members throughout the pandemic that youth have been forced out when they reach majority age.
Clearly, Mr. Carmant believes that article 64.1 of the Youth Protection Act which supposedly allows youth to remain in their placements is sufficient. This is not the case and we implore the Ministry to establish a moratorium on aging out like every other province in the country has done. It must take immediate action to ensure that youth protection agencies understand and apply this article in the way the minister says it should be applied. Experience has shown us time and time again that this is not always the case.
-30- __________________________________________________________________________________ CARE Jeunesse is a provincial, bilingual, non-profit organization dedicated to creating a supportive community for youth in care and alumni of care. Founded by alumni of care who have experienced the youth protection system first hand, the organization aims to assist youth after they leave care.