New provisions in the law: the national DYP denies any lack of preparation

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New provisions in the law: the national DPJ denies any lack of preparation

New provisions of the Youth Protection Act are due to come into force on April 26.

Despite fears expressed within the Department of Youth Protection (DPJ), the network will be ready in time to apply the provisions of the law that will enter in force next month, assures the national director Catherine Lemay. However, it is contradicted by the union representing youth workers.

As of April 26, the Youth Protection Act will have a little more bite in Quebec. For example, a child's exposure to domestic violence will now be considered a reason for reporting in its own right.

Also, every adolescent 16 responsibility of the DYP must be the subject of a transition plan to adult life in order to better accompany him towards his majority.

However, barely three weeks ago, youth workers were still unaware that they would be responsible for drafting and monitoring these transition plans to adult life. They even seemed to be unaware of the existence of this new legal provision.

A source well versed in the matter had then deplored a lack of communication and a lack of preparation from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, which the national director of youth protection, Catherine Lemay, denies.

Of course, communication is the sinews of any effective transmission of information, she admits, assuring in the same breath that things were done in a timely manner.

“Quite sincerely, I believe that we have given the information that was available as it came along. »

— Catherine Lemay, National Director of Youth Protection

Catherine Lemay, national director of youth protection (File photo)

Ms. Lemay relies in particular on mandatory training, posted online on March 8, which covers not only the new legal provisions, but also those that came into force last year after the adoption of Bill 15.

All DYP workers therefore have until April 26 to take the six modules of this training, which covers other changes to the Youth Protection Act, including those concerning Indigenous children.

< p class="e-p">Even if stakeholders theoretically have six weeks to appropriate this new content, the Alliance of Professional and Technical Health Personnel (APTS) ensures that this is not the case for all employees. .

Some of our members received the hyperlink more than a week late and the time allotted to follow the training is short, says Sébastien Pitre, responsible for youth protection at the APTS.

In a context of staff shortages, overworked workers will need additional time to complete their training, adds Mr. Pitre.

“Not to mention a complete mess, the rollout of the legislative change training following the passage of Bill 15 got off to a flying start. »

— Sébastien Pitre, responsible for youth protection at the APTS

As for the content of the training, the APTS says it has not completed analyze it, but believes that these professional development opportunities are part of the solution for a stronger network, as well as decent working conditions.

In addition, the National Director of Youth Protection was able to reveal a little more what form the transition to adulthood plan will take, which will become mandatory as of April 26.

It will be a computerized document that Ms. Lemay compares to a road map which indicates different paths to accompany the young person towards his 18th birthday and equip him so that he can face real life, outside of the DPJ.

With the counselor who accompanies him, the young person will have to identify the significant adults likely to support him, his personal ambitions for studies or work, and the different skills he wishes to acquire, for example.

According to Ms. Lemay, one of the essential points of this plan is that it will not be frozen in time: it will have to evolve with the young person, because adolescence is a pivotal moment.

“Along the way, this project may change and we must allow […] that we can adapt it as we go. »

— Catherine Lemay, National Director of Youth Protection

Even if the law provides that the plan can be implemented with young people aged 16 to 18 , Ms. Lemay does not believe that stakeholders will neglect to make it a priority among all the other tasks they must accomplish.

According to her, it is certain that the plan will have to be put in place as early as possible, but to the extent that the young person is ready to broach the subject of the transition to adult life.

It's anxiety when you have 16 years old and you have nothing in front of you to talk about your future. You have to be able to measure the right time for each young person to address these points, argues Ms. Lemay.

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