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Quebec Speeds Up Child Removal

October 21, 2005 permalink

In the following article, Quebec Youth Protection Minister Margaret Delisle says that state care is harmful to children, then uses that as a reason to speed up the separation of children from their parents.



Quebec introduces legislation to limit role of state in child care

QUEBEC (CP) - The Quebec government introduced legislation Thursday that will overhaul its child protection services and reduce the state's role in resolving child-care issues.

Youth Protection Minister Margaret Delisle says the new laws will mean more stability for children who are in vulnerable situations.

"These children are suffering enormously," she said at a news conference.

"After 10 years of recommendations from experts, this has to stop. These children have to able to develop normally."

One of the key elements of Delisle's plan is limits on how long children can spend in the state's care.

In order to avoid having children change homes repeatedly, the maximum stay in child-care centres for a child under two years will be capped at 12 months, 18 months for children between two and five, and 24 months for children over six years old.

If after that parents still can't provide a stable environment for their children, youth protection services will recommend they be given up for adoption, placed in the state's care, or given a mentor.

According to the provincial association of child protection centres, some 2,000 children get bounced around from their biological parents to various foster homes.

"The priority remains to keep the child with his family," Delisle said. "But there are cases where that's not possible, and they could be placed in a stable environment."

The proposed laws hope to avoid relying on the courts to resolve child-care disputes by encouraging a "consensual approach."

They are also designed to speed up the processing of files and improve access to information.

Delisle's legislation was welcomed by the head of Quebec's youth protection system.

"The amendments will allow for the more vulnerable to live in stability," said Jean-Pierre Hotte.

And even the opposition Parti Quebecois had few criticisms.

"It doesn't solve all the problems, but its a step in the right direction," said Delisle's PQ counterpart, Solange Charest.

"The government will have the co-operation of the opposition."

Source: website