Children left to 'fend for themselves' in youth protection, commission told
Jennifer Dupuis, president of the non-profit group CARE Jeunesse, described in detail the difficulties faced by young people who “age out” of the youth-protection system when they turn 18 years old.
“They’re feeling that they’re unheard and unsupported, and that there is a lack of resources for them,” Dupuis told a special commission into youth protection and the rights of children that was set up following the death of a neglected girl in Granby in April.
Dupuis testified that social workers are overloaded and burned out, and waiting lists for services are too long in the youth-protection system, especially for anglophone teens. Dupuis, who herself grew up in youth protection, noted that children in the system “are moved too many times and there’s not a continuity of service.”
CARE Jeunesse, founded in 2015, is comprised of volunteer “alumni” of the youth-protection system who help young adults make the transition to living on their own. The organization donates luggage to young adults so that “they don’t have to carry their belongings in garbage bags,” Dupuis said.