Accommodation for children with severe disabilities

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L’Unité Le Jardin, a center that houses nine severely disabled children in Laval, is in crisis again. It is understood that investigations are ongoing following recent allegations of abuse suffered by some of society’s most vulnerable young people—the Press.

The Laval Police Department confirmed on Thursday that it has opened an investigation into four cases of mistreatment at the Le Jardin Unit. The facts would have happened from March to November 2023. The police do not want to give more details to protect the ongoing investigation.

The Deputy Director General of CIS de Laval, Majorik Bouchard, claimed to have recently received “new information with worrying elements” about the Le Jardin Unit. If the content of this information is not specified, Mr. Bouchard confirms that it is serious enough for the implementation of necessary new measures.

Since Thursday, a manager has been on site 24 hours a day to ensure the quality of care at the establishment, which welcomes young people aged 7 to 15 with a variety of serious disabilities and often an autism spectrum disorder.

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CIS de Laval also wants to remove the independent workforce of Unité Le Jardin as soon as possible. “We’re aiming for the best staff stability,” Mr. Bouchard said. Agency workers currently represent 80% to 90% of the establishment’s workforce.

In a letter sent to its employees on Thursday, the CIS de Laval launched an appeal to all those looking for volunteers to cover all the transfers of the Le Jardin Unit. They explained that they are looking for managers, educators, intervention agents, beneficiary attendants, and nurses.

Be on the lookout for May

This is the second time disturbing information has emerged from the Le Jardin Unit this year. Last May, faced with “worrying situations,” the CISSS de Laval had to act. Residents are increasingly being moved to renovated and better-equipped units. Additional clinical staff.

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The management of the Le Jardin Unit was also removed from the Directorate of Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Physical Disability Programs (DI-TSA-DP) to be handed over to the Directorate of the Youth Program (DPJe) from CIS de Laval. In November, the DI-TSA-DP Directorate, whose “government was restructured,” however, took over the management of the Le Jardin Unit.

When it was pointed out to him that despite the steps taken since May, the situation continues to be a problem at Unité Le Jardin, Mr. Bouchard confirmed that “the steps taken are the right ones.”. But “we have to accept that with the new information we’ve received, we need to do more,” he said. On Monday, a new director, Stéphanie Lavoie, will take charge of the DI-TSA-DP Directorate, said Mr. Bouchard.

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Possible closure

When it opened four years ago, Unité Le Jardin was intended to accommodate children temporarily. Ultimately, the goal of CIS de Laval is to close this resource “through attrition” and “find another living community environment” for the residents, said Mr. Bouchard.

In the Laval Police Department, it is indicated that, for the sake of transparency, the DPJ of Montreal will take care of the youth protection aspect of this case because the DPJ of Laval reports to the CIS of Laval.

Another CIS de Laval home that houses 42 people with severe disabilities or severe behavioral disorders, the Louise-Vachon home, also made headlines last year after allegations of misconduct against users. CIS de Laval conducted an internal investigation and suspended half a dozen employees. Three employees were also charged with assault and assault with a weapon but were finally acquitted last June.