Montreal

Review launched into services provided to Inuit children in Montreal

The regional health board that oversees Batshaw Youth and Family Centres is launching the evaluation. The news comes months after CBC News revealed serious allegations regarding how Inuit children are treated once they arrive in the city.

In December, CBC News revealed serious allegations regarding how they are treated in Montreal

Batshaw Youth and Family Centres provides care in Montreal. (Louis-Marie Philidor/CBC)

The regional health board that oversees Batshaw Youth and Family Centres is launching an evaluation of the services offered to youth who are transferred from Nunavik to Montreal.

The news comes months after CBC News revealed serious allegations regarding how Inuit children are treated once they arrive in the city.

"We wanted to look at the whole trajectory that the youth could have between our services and the services offered in the north," said Najia Hachimi-Idrissi, associate president and CEO of the CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.

The evaluation could take a few months, and the results will "most probably" be released, she said.

Sources told CBC News several youth were told they could not speak Inuktitut among themselves at two Montreal group homes, under the jurisdiction of Batshaw Youth and Family Services and the CIUSSS Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal.

In addition, Inuit children who are transferred from Nunavik to youth protection facilities in Montreal aren't assigned a local social worker who can meet with them face to face and advocate for them, leaving them without the proper support.

Quebec's human rights commission has launched an investigation into those claims.

Review is part of 'continuous improvement approach,' CIUSSS says

Last year, there was a review of all the services provided by the CIUSSS, but this one will focus on those offered to children from Nunavik, Hachimi-Idrissi said.

The review will look at the services offered, how services are accessed, waiting times and clinical practices.

The idea, she said, is that after the children receive services are in Montreal, their return home would be seamless, complete with local follow up.

She said the initiative is part of a "continuous improvement approach," and gives them opportunity to look at and review policies.

With files from CBC's Jaela Bernstien

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