Nearby Homestay Applicants | “These are not cheap workers,” says Minister Carmant

Health and Welfare Minister Lionel Carmant denies treating “applicants for local foster families” as cheap labour, and promises to pay back the sums due after the six-month evaluation period has passed.

Posted yesterday at 5:00am

Susan Kolpron

Susan Kolpron
The press

“It’s not due cheap labourhe said in an interview with The press. I think it’s a unique situation in an extraordinary context. »

Mr Carmant adds that he asked the Deputy Deputy Minister to “find a solution to this situation in order to solve the problem of retroactivity”.


PHOTO YAN DOUBLET, LE SOLEIL ARCHIVE

Lionel Carmant, Minister Plenipotentiary for Health and Welfare

“We absolutely do not want it to be viewed that way cheap labour, he emphasizes. We want to appreciate the commitment of the family. These delays need to stop. »

It is a chronicle of Patrick Lagacé and a file of The press who recently sounded the alarm in the Ministry and lifted the veil on the bureaucratic hell of these applicants as local foster families, who have to wait up to 20 months to be recognized and paid with no repercussions on the costs incurred.

Two out of three families

Referred to by the acronym PFAP, these local foster care applicants are asked to provide overnight care for one or more DPJ children, very often at the request of the facility.

The press described several cases of these families being left without support and facing bureaucratic obstacles.

Unlike other host families, the PFAP is initially neither assessed nor recognized nor financially rewarded. He is considered a PFAP rather than a foster family because he has a “significant connection” to the child or children who have been displaced from their family environment.

You should know that local foster families make up two-thirds of all foster families in Quebec.

the Health and Social Services Act provides that the assessment of a PFAP must be made “carefully” within a maximum period of six months from the first day the child is entrusted to him.

If approved at the end of the assessment process, the family will receive the same amount per month as any other foster family to care for the children in their care. This amount depends on the age, the characteristics of the young person and the type of care he needs.

retroactivity

The problem denounced by many PFAPs and observers is that not only are the assessment times long, very often exceeding six months, but also that this compensation is not retroactive.

“I am aware of the situation,” admits Minister Carmant.

I think it’s important to mention that during the pandemic, the assessments of the foster families had to be loosened up a bit so that direct payments to children, to the protection of minors, can continue.

Lionel Carmant, Minister Plenipotentiary for Health and Welfare

He says his department is “really very actively working now to reduce these delays” and promises to “fix the problem of retroactivity” if the delay exceeds the six months provided for in the law.

“There is this six-month assessment phase that is necessary to ensure the closeness of the foster family. Anything longer than six months, I asked the deputy minister to find a solution to ensure it was recoverable,” he explains.

harmonize practices

In addition, Mr. Carmant said he has asked facility CEOs to ensure that costs incurred by PFAPs when they host children, such as buying clothes, are reimbursed.

Regarding the retroactive effect on the six months prior to the accreditation of the PFAP, the Minister assures us that he intends to study this issue. “We might have to look at that a little later to see if we can change that,” he says.

It also recognizes that the processing of PFAP files needs to be harmonized between the different CISSSs and CIUSSSs where there are major differences.

“One of the important functions of our DPJ National Director that we have just appointed is really to harmonize practices,” notes Mr. Carmant. It cannot simply vary from one facility to another. Practices really need to be harmonised, in this dossier as in many other youth protection dossiers. »

Referring to the staff shortage, which is often cited as an explanation for the long delays in assessing PFAPs, Mr Carmant recalls that a sum of 10 million has been allocated in the 2021-2022 budget to support foster families. In his opinion, the situation should improve quickly: “If we compare the situation before the pandemic, in February 2020 and today, there are still the equivalent of 1,000 jobs that have been included in the DYP. »

“The Hideous Side of Things”

“This is a step in the right direction,” says André Lebon, former vice-president of the Special Commission for Children’s Rights and the Protection of Minors, better known as the Laurent Commission.

However, he believes that the amount for services rendered to the child should be retroactive to the first day of placement and not six months later.

“It’s like we’re doing them a favor,” he says. That’s the nasty side of it. Twinning problems will be there all the time. Choosing the right family, finding the right match, I guess that will never be achieved. However, this in no way justifies the retrospective payment of compensation after recognition of the family. »

Learn more

  • 2648
    Number of neighborhood foster families as of March 31, 2021, in Quebec

    SOURCE: DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Leave a Comment