Revision of the Quebec law on youth protection to prioritize the well-being and stability of the child

Keeping a neglected or abused child within their biological family is no longer a top priority.

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The well-being of the child will in principle be at the center of Bill 15, a project to overhaul Quebec’s youth protection regulations tabled Wednesday by the Minister of Health and Social Services Lionel Carmant.

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And among the changes is a recognition that keeping a neglected or abused child within their biological family at all costs is no longer a top priority.

Ensuring that the child receives a stable environment as quickly as possible will be a priority for the government, ignoring the principle of parental primacy when social workers or judges are called upon to decide the fate of children in need of a framework. stable life.

The Premier of Quebec, François Legault, called the tabling of the bill a historic moment.

The reforms of Bill 15 have been promised for months by the government and follow the tragic death in 2019 of a young girl from Granby who was the subject of repeated abuse despite the follow-up of the youth protection authorities of the Director of Youth Protection.

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They also track the filing of a report on the DYP containing 60 recommendations calling for the well-being of the child to be at the center of all decisions.

The legislation in force requires that “any decision taken under this law must aim to keep the child in his family environment”. The revised version of Bill 15 will now stipulate that “the maintenance of the child in his family environment must be a priority provided that it is in the interest of this child”.

If maintaining the child in his immediate family environment is not considered possible, placing the child with people considered “significant” such as grandparents or members of an extended family is an alternative. . But if this too is not possible, the authorities must offer the child an environment “which is closest to that of a family environment”.

The number of cases opened by the DPJ continues to climb, with 118,000 registered last year.

The proposed changes also aim to relax confidentiality rules allowing authorities to more easily share personal information about a child’s situation.

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