Every day, more and more children and young people in Quebec suffer from anxiety disorders or major adjustment difficulties.
Posted at 11:35am
That’s the worrying observation of youth protection directors (DYP) in their 19th yeare Annual report presented this Tuesday in Montreal.
This year, too, the DYPs are observing a “considerable” increase in reports.
In all, Quebec-wide DYPs processed 132,632 reports in 2021-2022, compared to 117,904 last year. This corresponds to an increase of 12.5%.
That’s an average of 363 cases of children reported per day in Quebec, or 40 more per day than last year. “You are in trouble. They are in real pain,” the DPJ of the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal Assunta Gallo said at the time the report was presented.
However, the DYPs recorded a 2.3% decrease in retained reports compared to the previous year.
“It hasn’t been easy” for children and young people during the pandemic, added Mme Gallo from the Montreal DPJ. The latter attributes the increase in reports to the fact that the population is “benevolent”. The people of Quebec are concerned about their children and, for the same reason, do not hesitate to report them when they see situations of concern, she specified.
If fewer reports are kept, it’s because the “frontline” services of the health network and community organizations are playing their part in providing a safety net for those children who are the subject of a report, explained Mr.me Gallo. In other words, it is not children who need protection, but many other services. You will thus be redirected to the appropriate resources.
Thus, the DPJ of Montreal (services for francophone children) received 12,967 reports, an increase of 8.22% compared to the previous year. Batshaw (metropolitan English speaking children’s services) received 4,645 reports, an increase of 16.39%.
Despite this drop in retained reports, the waiting lists are getting longer, whatever Mr.me gallo; an increase that can be explained by the lack of staff in the health network. In Montreal, 463 children are currently awaiting assessment (French services). A figure the Montreal DPJ describes as “important” and “concerning”. For the Anglophones (Batshaw), even more children are currently awaiting screening, namely 560.
At the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, 19 employees are currently missing for the evaluation of the reports. His team usually has 101 workers. However, they are currently 82 years old. “We are working on becoming more attractive [comme milieu de travail] “, among other things through the offer of the four-day week, emphasized Mme Gallo.
At CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, which is affiliated with Batshaw, the labor shortage is even more acute. The team responsible for evaluating the reports now has only 12 people when it should have 39. The issue of recruiting bilingual staff complicates the task, we are told by the CIUSSS.
However, urgent cases corresponding to code 1 (child seen same day) and code 2 (child seen next day at the latest) will be dealt with quickly, assure the two Montreal CIUSSS.
Increase also observed in Montérégie
The number of reports processed has also increased in Montérégie. We are talking about an increase of 3,000 reports compared to the 2020-2021 financial year, for a total of 20,837 this year. There is also a decrease in retained reports (415 retained reports less than last year).
With Pierre-Andre Normandin.
- In Quebec, the average wait time to obtain a DYP assessment is 38 days; well above the target of 21. Montreal was the worst performer with an average delay of 67 days. Conversely, Laval is an example with an average delay of 15 days.
Department of Health and Social Services