Boris Chassagne, Local Journalism Initiative
The number of reports made to the Direction de la protection de la jeunesse (DPJ) shows a sharp increase in Mauricie / Center-du-Québec (MCQ).
This is what the 2019-2020 annual report submitted by the Youth Protection Directorate (DYP) reveals. There are 118,316 reports in Quebec, including 9,174 for Mauricie / Center-du-Quebec. This is an increase of 14.4% for the region compared to the previous year.
Note that nearly 39% of reports to the DPJ-MCQ are subject to an assessment of the facts, development and safety of the child.
Robert Levasseur, director of youth protection in Mauricie and Center-du-Québec, explains this increase in cases by the fact “that people denounce more quickly”, especially when tragedies make the news.
Mr. Levasseur urges the entire population to support the DPJ in its mission by working upstream of reports. “We will be able to provide a more adequate response and have a direct impact on children,” he underlines.
Two-thirds of the children whose situation was taken in charge of the DYP in the region remained in their family environment or with significant third parties (aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, even neighbors).
Of the 9,000 reports recorded by the DPJ-MCQ, 659 adolescents were referred to services under the Act respecting the criminal justice system for adolescents (YCJA). These cases are still down 8.5% compared to last year.
Neglect, physical abuse and psychological mistreatment are at the top of the sad list of reasons for reporting.
The vast majority of reports come from outside the family environment (organizations, schools, police, community) and 80% of reports concern boys.
Sexual abuse accounts for 5.4% of the 9,000 reports.
Fluctuations in different sectors
Over the past year, there has been an increase of (+ 13%) in reports processed and accepted and (+ 57%) in treatment in the Vallée-de-la-Batiscan. An increase in retained reports was also observed in Trois-Rivières (+ 16%).
On the other hand, the data are down in Maskinongé, Haut-Saint-Maurice and Nicolet-Bécancour.
Fewer reports during confinement
Reports are down 18% for the first quarter of April, May and June 2020 of the pandemic, as well as for the three months after.
This drop should not however be interpreted as good news, notes Robert Levasseur.
“The mistreatment, domestic violence did not stop with confinement. The young person no longer went to school, to the CPE, in his sports activities. We (DPJ) have put in place means to ensure that we maintain the link with the young people we had under our leadership, ”assures the director of the DPJ Mauricie and Center-du-Québec.
“We need to adjust our ability to offer support and help before situations escalate. Everyone must collectively take a responsibility to support these young people. Everyone can do their part, ”says Robert Levasseur.
The full regional report is available at ciusssmcq.ca/documentation/rapports-annuels-et-financiers/