The waiting list is growing at the DPJ, despite a drop in reports

The shortage of evaluator personnel is increasingly felt in youth protection on the North Shore. As of Tuesday, 78 children are on a waiting list. The union deplores the situation, as does management.

The average time before a child’s situation is assessed is currently 42 days. When responding to emergencies, there is no delayassures Nadia Denis, the director of youth protection on the North Shore. It is children whose situation is less urgent who find themselves on the waiting listhowever, she recognizes.

It is unacceptable, for me, to have children on a waiting list.

A quote from Nadia Denis, director of youth protection on the North Shore

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Nadia Denis, director of youth protection on the North Shore, hopes to fill 14 vacant evaluation positions in the region.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Lydianne Ouimet

However, the Alliance of Professional and Technical Personnel in Health and Social Services, the APTS, believes that even if their situation is less urgent, these children suffer from this wait. If there are no services, things get worse most of the timesays Mylaine Larocque, the president of the union on the North Shore.

The people who receive the services are also confused. They ask themselves: “This has been going on for months, why are you intervening today?”

A quote from Mylaine Larocque, president of the APTS Côte-Nord

The union does not blame CISSS of the North Shore nor the DPJ for the lack of manpower, but rather the government. I directly contacted Minister Carmantindicates Sébastien Pitre, responsible for the youth centers file at theAPTS. He said he wanted to cooperate with us to improve what workers experience.

Only half of the 28 evaluation positions are filled in the region. In Sept-Îles, the needs are particularly acute, with only four of the 14 positions filled.

Reports processed in free fall, but…

There DPJ de la Côte-Nord records a marked drop in reports processed: with 2,912 reports in 2023-2024, that is 34% less than the previous year. Of these, 645 were selected for evaluation.

Main causes of reports to the DPJ on the North Shore

Cause for reporting to the DPJ Proportion of reports
Neglect 27%
Serious risk of negligence 23%
Physical abuse 17%
Serious behavioral problems 12%

Source: Direction de la protection de la jeunesse de la Côte-Nord

This drop is explained in particular by a reorganization of youth protection work, which increasingly calls on community organizations and front-line resources, according to theAPTS.

For the union, this approach does not reduce the pressure on the staff of the health establishment. At the CLSC, which offers front-line services, they must intervene in families with whom they did not previously intervene. They do not necessarily have the level of expertise to intervenesaid Ms. Larocque.

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Mylaine Larocque, the president of the local executive of the APTS, does not blame the CISSS de la Côte-Nord for the labor shortage. (Archive photo)

Photo: Radio-Canada / Benoît Jobin

Furthermore, if fewer cases go to the DPJits staff faces increasingly serious cases.

It is certain that when it happens in youth protection, the situations are really very difficult and the girls are increasingly confronted with horrors.

A quote from Mylaine Larocque, president of the APTS Côte-Nord

Result : The troops are out of breathshe says.

For her part, Nadia Denis hopes that the collective agreement, which came into force in recent days, will help the health establishment find employees. We hope that the work in youth protection will be recognizedshe says.

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