Quebec protection law amendments draw criticism.
The most controversial proposal is the requirement for parents whose children have been placed in foster care have between 12 and 24 months to prove they are capable of taking care of those children. If that does not happen, they would lose legal custody. Government officials say it will prevent children from being repeatedly moved between homes. Groups such as the Quebec Bar Association oppose that provision.
The bill also aims to expand the range of options for ensuring such stability by introducing various provisions for guidance to a child.
The Centrale des syndicats du Quebec, representing public service employees unions approve of the changes but are concerned that:
* the rules do not have sufficient flexibility:
* the amendments do nothing to assure that the protection agencies will be adequately staffed and financed.
It is also concerned with the limitations on the application of the Act in cases of running away and school absentism.
The bill also introduces measures to encourage the use of consensual approaches and allowing children and parents to actively participate in making decisions and choosing measures that concern them, thus reducing the need to refer matters to the tribunal.
The bill specifies which cases call for the protective measures provided for in the Act, particularly by giving a new description of the grounds on which the security or development of a child is considered to be in danger and by identifying the factors to be taken into consideration to determine whether a report should be accepted for further analysis.
It also clarifies rules in respect for a child's privacy, the accessibility and disclosure of information, and the length of time information held by the director of youth protection may be kept. It revises and simplifies procedural rules to allow the tribunal to handle certain cases more quickly while respecting children's rights.
The bill introduces legislative and regulatory rules governing placement of a child in premises providing close supervision of the child's behaviour and movements.
Aboriginal groups, Quebec Native Women and the Regroupement des centres d'amitie autochtones du Quebec, claim that the proposed amendments do not take into account the social and cultural realities of their communities. It does not recognize the kinship structures that can take responsibility for children and the problems of Aboriginal communities in remote locations with few resources. They fear children at risk will be moved to places far from their home communities.
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|Title Annotation:||CHILD & FAMILY|
|Date:||Mar 20, 2006|
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