MONTREAL – Quebec’s order of social workers says its members need more time and less pressure to properly do their jobs.
Order president Guylaine Ouimette held a press conference Friday in reaction to the death of a seven-year-old girl who had a long history with the province’s youth protection system.
Local police found the girl shortly before noon Monday at a home in Granby, Que., about 80 kilometres east of Montreal. She died a day later in hospital.
Two adults – identified by people close to the family as the girl’s father, 30, and his partner, 35 – were arrested in connection with the death.
Ouimette did not want to comment directly on the girl’s case because it involved members of the order.
But she says social workers are often in conflict between fulfilling their job descriptions and properly caring for young people and families.
She says her members work in an industrial-like atmosphere where sometimes half their time is spent on bureaucratic tasks.
News of the girl’s death prompted swift reaction from the public and Quebec’s political class, who immediately demanded to know how the girl was seemingly failed by a system designed to protect her.
Ouimette is calling for a public commission that will look into systemic problems in the social services system.