Sébastien and neglect
Numerous children followed in CSP suffer from neglect. Whether unintentional or intentional, neglect is a failure to meet the child’s emotional or physical needs, or a failure to respect their fundamental rights. We encounter neglect in all settings. It can originate in the family, those around the child or even society as a whole. Of all the different forms of abuse, neglect is clearly a situation in which the community has an essential role to play. This is why the care and support put into place by CSP revolves around providing tools to not only the family, but also the entire community, so they can effectively fight neglect.
Sébastien, age 12, is a victim of neglect. He is autistic and has been followed in CSP for many years. During a meeting with a specialist, Sébastien confided the real reason for his recent refusal to go to school: he did not want to leave his mother alone. After many years of staying clean, his mother has started using drugs again. Concerned about the possibility of Youth Protection becoming involved, Dr. Julien and his team visit the home and observe a situation of unintentional neglect that is harming not only Sébastien, but also his siblings and, of course, his mother. Sick and incapable of getting out of bed, the mother is unable to meet her children’s needs. Despite her requests for help and support, no services have yet been put into place. In such a serious situation of vulnerability, the possibility of removing the children becomes a terrible additional stress.
To support the family, the team at the local CSPC quickly mobilizes Sébastien’s extended family. They share a meal together in Sébastien’s apartment, which fosters an atmosphere of trust and a favourable starting point for building an action plan. The first step is mobilizing partners to push for the mother’s hospitalization. The plan also involves creating a protective circle around Sébastien and his siblings. With the help of aunts and uncles, the children are able to continue living at home. Finally, thanks to this joint mobilization of family and the community, rapid and concrete solutions are found, giving the family peace of mind and ensuring Sébastien’s rights are respected.