The parents of disabled children are crying out for injustice

Les parents d’enfants handicapés crient à l’injustice

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Government assistance is calibrated according to the degree of severity of the disability of the child, except for certain programs.

It is more “profitable” for the parents of disabled children to entrust them to a foster family that care for themselves.

Strong a study devastating to the firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (RCGT), the families of disabled children are crying out for the injustice to the support that they receive from the State and are demanding parity with the host families.

The economic analysis, The canadian Press has obtained a copy, shows that the natural families receive, on average, 25 632 $ per year to care for a child with a disability, compared to an average of 44 254 $ — 70 % more — for a host family.

“It’s still shocking to see that there is an injustice, and that the gap is so big, finally. We are living it daily, but there, to see it on paper with the real numbers, it is shocking, ” said Nathalie Richard, executive director of The Star of Pacho – peer support Network for parents of children with disabilities in a telephone interview, pointing out that it was hardly a surprise to those conclusions.

“We would prefer greatly to keep our children with us, we love them. It is certain that iniquity with host families strikes us as aberrant. Why a host family will receive an amount much higher to deal with whereas me, I want to keep it, but I can not have this support ? ” asks she.

18 656 $

It is the difference between the amount of assistance is the minimum that can receive the natural family of a child with a disability and that provided to the host families. Thus, the study of RCGT has calculated that the payments are between 14 400 and $ 36 863 $ per year for a natural family, while foster families receive between 33 056 and $ 55 471 $ annually. This aid is paid directly in cash or in the form of various services or tax relief, mainly of the provincial government, but also by the federal government.

Financial strangulation

Ms. Richard, who was now a spouse, thus describes the years when she was left a single parent with her son severely handicapped : “I couldn’t go to work. I found myself on social assistance live below the poverty line. “

“I was getting 1400 $ a year for me to take care of my son with a serious disability. If I had placed in a foster family, the foster family would have received up to $ 55,000 for take care of them “, she says.

It is The Star of Pacho and another group, Parents to the end, that have mandated RCGT to conduct this study.

The spokesperson of the Parents until the end, Anouk Lanouette Turgeon, described the impact of the arrival of a child with a disability in the family : “In most of the couples who have a child with a serious disability, one of the two stops working. “

“Even if we manage to continue to work, it is sure that there is a lack often, we have appointments all week, even for a child who is “moderately” disabled […] The situation is unfortunate for the parent, even if the child is not as heavily handicapped on paper that a child who has cerebral palsy severe or something of the sort. The child to have down syndrome or the child with a disorder on the autism spectrum or who need to care and regular appointments, the disability at the family level is also heavy. “

47 752 $

In a hospital setting, a child with a disability represents for the State an outlay varying from 47 752 $ 81 373 $ depending on the heaviness of the disability, to an average of 64 563 $.

Changes uneven

Because government assistance is calibrated according to the degree of severity of the disability of the child, except for certain programs. The more the disability is severe, the more the State provides for his needs.

But it supports much more firmly to the host families : “I have a nurse with us 24 hours a day, tells the story of Nathalie Richard. The CLSC does not pay the costs of it. I have the kind in my pocket “, she notes, while in the family home, it is the network that bears these costs.

Before the recriminations repeated of parents, the government Couillard was created in 2016 the Supplement for a disabled child requiring exceptional care (SEHNSE).

However, only a very small minority of disabled children are eligible because of criteria very restrictive, which exclude any child not having a disability very heavy. Thus, for the approximately 36, 000 recognized children with disabilities in Québec, a little less than 4,000 parents have asked the SEHNSE, the other knowing full well that they might not be right, but only 1634 were obtained.

“It is a nice gesture financially from the government, but this is not enough. This is not enough, ” says Ms. Richard.

Malaise in Quebec city

The parent groups have presented the study in June, the minister of the Family, Luc Fortin, who appeared sympathetic to the claims of the natural families, but has not made commitment with a view to eventual parity.

To hear the two door-to-speech, the minister and his representatives seemed uncomfortable in front of this.

“We had a good listening on his part, but no clear commitment,” says Anouk Lanouette Turgeon.

The minister Fortin has apparently promised to review the criteria of selection of the SEHNSE in order to soften it, but it hardly impresses Nathalie Richard : “What the easing, is to allow about 5 % more families to be accepted. It remains that 34 000 families in Quebec who have a child with a disability are not entitled to receive. “

The agencies promise to hook the politicians during the election campaign on this issue.