Recommendations for Quebec’s youth protection system will leave racialized children behind
MONTREAL – Those who have worked with racialized families in Quebec say they are forgotten by the findings of the Laurent Commission and fear that the recommendations continue to unfairly target black children.
Research shows that black children in Quebec are five times more likely to end up in child welfare than white children. The reason for this, according to those who work with black families, is racism, especially in schools.
“What we are seeing are children with trauma who are taken away from their families without knowing why they are not being looked after at school or why they are not coming home,” said Tiffany Callender, director general of the black community of Côte des Neiges. Association
Advocates hoped the commission would address these issues, but instead it emphasized the need for improved cultural training for social workers and better collaboration with community groups – an oversimplification of what it means to be black, according to the campaign. Alicia Boatswain Kyte, social worker at McGill. University.
“By focusing only on limiting the experience of darkness to one of the new immigrants, you are not reflecting those immigrants who have been here for generations and who are Quebeckers. The reason why they cannot flourish within Quebec society is not because of integration, but because of racism, ”she declared.
Batshaw Youth and Family Centers said they faced understaffing and had around 200 children awaiting services.
He has worked with community groups and said the commission’s recommendation to increase funding for these organizations is welcome, but acknowledged that more needs to be done.
“We are entering into a dialogue with this family to try to direct them to this community organization to see if they are better served there as opposed to youth protection,” she said. “So there are steps in that direction, but there is still a long way to go.”
The government promises that an action plan based on the recommendations will come soon.
In the meantime, community groups are asking to play a key role in the ambitious reform in the best interests of all children.