Opposition: CAQ slow to act on youth protection waiting lists
CAQ leader Francois Legault stands beside Dr. Lionel Carmant at the Coalition Avenir Quebec's caucus meeting in Ste. Adele on Jan. 22, 2018
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, June 10, 2019 7:37AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 10, 2019 8:01PM EDT
The three opposition parties say Quebec is slow to adopt concrete measures for the thousands of vulnerable children on youth protection waiting lists.
The Canadian Press revealed Sunday that Quebec Social Services Minister Lionel Carmant was aware immediately after taking office in October 2018 that the province’s youth protection agency was facing a staffing crisis.
In an interview Monday, Carmant said he was still unable to draw a general picture of the need for additional resources to be provided to youth protection agencies across the network.
The minister has asked all agencies to provide him with a local 'action plan' outlining his needs to improve service to children, but the network was not given a deadline and so far has not been completed.
The minister has said he will have a plan of attack as soon as possible.
According to documents obtained by The Canadian Press, the department’s inability to meet a growing demand for help was well known before the death of a seven-year-old girl in Granby shook the province.
The documents showed few indications of ways to improve the effectiveness of youth protection services when dealing with victims of abuse or neglect in the short term.
While there was $18 million set aside in Quebec’s last budget to hire more youth protection staff, Professional and Technical Staff of Health and Social Services President Carolle Dube said it would take 15 times more money to properly fund the agency. Dube said the agency’s real needs are closer to $270 million.