Profiles of working with the youth clientele employes
Deux rôles, un même intérêt : celui des enfants
Depuis trois ans, Marylène Pomerleau est spécialiste en activités cliniques dans l’équipe réception et traitement des signalements (RTS). Elle cumule 23 années d’expérience comme intervenante en protection de la jeunesse. Sa grande expérience l’aide à réaliser son rôle qui est d’offrir du soutien clinique et du coaching aux membres de son équipe, en lien avec la cueillette d’information et les décisions concernant les signalements reçus.
Pour prendre une décision éclairée, Marylène revoit les dossiers pour bien évaluer les faits, la vulnérabilité de l’enfant et la capacité des parents à assumer pleinement leur rôle avec les ressources dont ils disposent dans leur milieu. C’est un métier sur la ligne de feu, car il faut prendre les meilleures décisions dans l’intérêt de l’enfant en suivant les règles de la loi.
« Je suis une fille d’action, j’ai la protection des enfants tatouée sur le cœur et je continuerai de travailler à les protéger, tous les jours », exprime Marylène.
Support for as long as necessary
Nancy Lapierre is a human relations officer and measures application facilitator in Lac-Mégantic. For the past 13 years, she has been assisting families in which the safety and development of their child has been declared compromised, in particular in cases of neglect, psychological mistreatment, abuse, and behavioural disorders.
She regularly meets with families whose case intensity can vary according to the needs of the child. The services offered through voluntary or court-ordered measures usually last from six months to a few years. Nancy assists and counsels youth and their families by working on the objectives set in the agreed-upon intervention plan.
"The work is demanding, but I feel that I'm bringing positive changes, that I am assuming the role of the benevolent adult with children and teenagers. We often support the most vulnerable families in society; the small steps theory helps us to focus on each success," she said.
First contact for families when a situation is reported
"We face emergency situations with highly vulnerable people. Families haven't chosen to call us. You have to be very respectful and empathetic and judge the situation, not the people. We're there to requalify the parents, not to disqualify them. That subtlety is important."
With tact, the social worker manages to build a relationship based on trust.
"The crisis that leads to the report often becomes the lever," she noted.
If people cooperate and adhere to the intervention plan, changes will occur because people will see a reason for them. Being able to make a difference motivates Johanna's commitment and passion for supporting children and families.
Marc Lecourtois has been working for more than 10 years with youth aged 5 to 18 years and their parents at CLSC Notre-Dame in Granby. He particularly enjoys seeing parents and children who initially had difficulty communicating collaborate closely in his office, be it in the youth mental health program or the youth in difficulty program.
"I'm aware that I've also had a significant impact on another person's life when youth begin to see hope where there once seemed to be none, when they start planning for the future and developing better self-esteem. For a psychologist like me, that's priceless," he said.
Marc has also supervised internships, and trained and lectured on the problem of anxiety disorders among children. He is currently a clinical activities expert for the youth in difficulty team and a project manager for the service offer for the youth mental health teams.
See complete profile (French)
Katherine Picarou and Marc-Olivier Proulx have been psychoeducators with the outpatient rehabilitation team in youth protection since four and five years. In 2018 they developed a new program entitled Des grands et des petits (Big and Small). This intensive, 13-week program has offered alternating meetings at home and in groups with parents and their children aged 6 to 12 since January 2019. Its goal is to help parents in their role with their children who are at risk of being placed in the rehabilitation centre due to their behavioural disorders or neglect.
Over three intensive months, this innovative program has parents and children reproduce methods learned in workshops at home with the individualized help of the same workers who were in the workshops. The psychoeducators are thus present once a week or more during key moments, for example, the morning and evening routines. According to both psychoeducators and the feedback from participants (see Steve's testimony), this formula adequately meets the needs of parents. They feel better qualified in their interactions with their children and many protection files have even been closed. Furthermore, that specific client group was not being monitored in this way, so Katherine and Marc-Olivier are proud that they can now make a difference in the lives of those families, giving them the opportunity to turn a blank page.
Psychoeducators who work with youth support parents in their role to structure, reassure, and educate their children, and teach children to communicate effectively and to manage their emotions. To work with this client group, the psychoeducators mentioned that you must feel comfortable dealing with youth and parents, who both often have a troubled past. You need to be able to assess the strengths and challenges faced by the parents and children, to provide concrete examples to improve problematic issues, to motivate others to attempt to make changes, and to highlight progress. Wanting to help others is a prerequisite.
"My greatest reward is seeing parent-child bonds reinforced. Then there is hope for the future," said Katherine.