Study finds Quebec youth in protection system less likely to graduate and find jobs

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Quebecers who were in youth protection less likely to graduate, be employed: study



“Troubling findings have emerged from a recent government-commissioned study in Quebec, shedding light on the challenges faced by young people who have been in the care of youth protection authorities. The study revealed that these individuals are less likely to graduate from high school or secure employment compared to their peers.

**Struggles in Transitioning to Adulthood**

The study, conducted by researchers from various Quebec universities, unveiled a stark reality – only 37% of youth who have been in care manage to graduate high school by the age of 21, a stark contrast to the 86% graduation rate among all Quebecers. Furthermore, one-third of 21-year-olds who were previously in care find themselves neither employed, in school, nor enrolled in a training program, a significantly higher percentage compared to the general population.

**Challenges in Finding Stability**

Institutional flaws were highlighted by María Eugenia Longo, a professor at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique and one of the study’s lead authors, as a major contributing factor to the employment struggles faced by these young individuals. The research emphasized the need for better support and a stable living environment for the over 2,000 young people transitioning out of care annually.

**Demand for More Resources**

Jessica Côté-Guimond, the director of Le Collectif Ex-Placé DPJ, emphasized the need for more resources as young Quebecers age out of the youth protection system. She noted that the average of five to nine different living environments experienced by children in care translates to instability that significantly impacts their adult life.

**Calls for Reform**

Côté-Guimond pointed out that while other provinces like British Columbia and Ontario have implemented more effective transition programs, Quebec lags behind. She advocated for comprehensive support from various sectors, including education, employment, and youth protection authorities. The need for psychological support, especially for trauma and learning disabilities, was also underscored as a critical aspect that often goes unaddressed.

**A Call to Action**

The study’s findings serve as a wake-up call, urging policymakers and stakeholders to prioritize the well-being and future success of young people transitioning out of care. It is imperative to bridge the gaps in support systems and provide the necessary resources to ensure a smoother transition into adulthood for these vulnerable individuals.

In conclusion, the study illuminates the urgent need for a more holistic approach to supporting young people leaving the youth protection system. By addressing the systemic challenges and providing tailored assistance, we can empower these individuals to overcome barriers and thrive in their journey to independence and self-sufficiency.”



Reference

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