Some workers at the Direction de la protection de la jeunesse (DPJ) will now receive a $900 bonus when they assess children at risk, La Presse has learned.

This ministerial directive announced Friday afternoon comes in full negotiation of collective agreement in the public sector.

The bonus aims in particular to reimburse the membership of the professional order of the stakeholders concerned, according to our information. Employees who complete 150 hours of assessment and orientation during the year will be eligible.

When a child is determined to be at risk after a report, responders in this position are the first responders. Their role is to meet children and parents, often creating shock waves in families.

If the child is in danger, other teams then take over to enforce measures determined by the Court. All these other teams, upstream or downstream of the evaluation, are not covered by the new ministerial directive.

“At the evaluation, of course we are happy for us,” reacts Katherine Christensen, criminologist, who has worked in evaluations at the DPJ de la Capitale-Nationale for almost 10 years. “But we find it absurd and unfair to others,” she quickly adds.

In his view, a bonus of $900 will not necessarily have the desired impact. “We find it unrealistic that they think it will have an impact on the waiting list [for the evaluation of children], she assures. It’s not $900 that’s going to make there’s going to be better staff retention, or that people are going to want to come. I don’t believe in that. »

For Laurie Allard, social worker at the DPJ of the Capitale-Nationale, the evaluation and the orientation of the children are not the only difficult position within the youth centers.

She has worked at the DPJ for 10 years, including four years in assessment and orientation. She is now in an area called “social-emergency”. “We also go to families, we will also remove children, she explains. We also witness the personal and family difficulties of our clients. We are all at risk of witnessing and experiencing violence every day. »

The new ministerial directive, which has not yet been sent in writing, was received coldly on Friday afternoon, said Allard.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) had not responded to La Presse’s request at the time of this writing.

On the union side, it is believed that this ministerial directive goes beyond the negotiations in progress.

At the Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS), which represents the vast majority of DYP workers in Quebec, we believe that the measure should apply to everyone.

“We thought it wasn’t enough, even for evaluation and orientation,” said Josée Fréchette, first vice-president of the APTS. We also tried to extend the measure to the whole of the DPJ. We had a no, we tried to discuss, and they gave us an ultimatum and finally they decided to proceed anyway. »

Reimbursement for membership in professional orders is part of the union demands for all APTS employees who need it, adds Ms. Fréchette.

For Jessica Goldschleger, first vice-president of the Federation of Professionals of the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN), this bonus will not be a magic recipe for combating the labor shortage at the DPJ.

“We think that the heaviness of the clientele, its intensity, the violent remarks, the difficult working conditions in the youth centers, it is much more these conditions that prevent the stabilization of the workforce, she believes.

“We are negotiating to maintain [existing] bonuses, she adds, and to think about innovative projects to facilitate the integration of new employees and the development of skills. »