Quebec youth protection received over 100,000 reports of at-risk children in 2018-19

Stuffed animals are seen in front of the house where lived a 7-year-old girl who was found in critical condition in her home on Monday, April 29, in Granby, Que. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Quebec’s youth protection network has received over 105,644 reports about at-risk children in 2018-2019, according to an annual report released Wednesday.

The CIUSSS of the Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal says this is a 10 per cent increase compared to the last report.

In Montreal, out of the 4,571 reports that were investigated further, 1,491 of the cases involved physical abuse — 257 more than in 2016-17.

A further 933 involved psychological abuse and 863 cases reported negligence.

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About 32 per cent of the reports were filed by schools, 28 per cent were from various organizations and 22 per cent were from police.

Youth protection directors noted in a statement that, despite the steps taken towards better protecting at-risk children, the climbing numbers are worrisome.

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The report comes after calls for better action from the youth protection network following the death of a seven-year-old girl from Granby in April. There was already a file in her name with the Directeur de la protection de la jeunesse (DPJ).

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“The tragic events in spring of 2019 remind us that, despite the hard work of millions of people dedicated to the protection of all Quebec children, we are not immune to failures,” the report found.

“The protection of these children is about teamwork and each person’s contribution is fundamental. When this sort of situation slips between the cracks, everyone has to question themselves.”

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The girl’s stepmother has since been charged with second-degree murder, while her father has been charged with criminal negligence causing death, unlawful confinement, failure to provide the necessities of life and child abandonment.

In response, the government launched an independent commission into youth protection in the province.

Public hearings on how youth protection services operate across Quebec will be held starting Oct. 22.


— With files from Global News’ Tim Sargeant and The Canadian Press

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