Youths’ lives in “utter chaos” thanks to mismanaged home transition
NDP Child, Youth and Family Services critic Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) is not at all happy that she was right about the new home for vulnerable youths in Stephenville. That home, along with others in the province, was awarded to a for-profit operator in tenders announced two months ago.
“As I predicted the new group home in Stephenville won’t be ready by government’s May 19 target date. The lives of the youth in care have been thrown into utter chaos,” Rogers said in the House of Assembly today.
“I ask the minister, why did he not have a plan to ensure a smooth transition for the moving of these vulnerable young people?”
The NDP MHA has asked several times, to see government’s plan for making the transition for the youth as stress-free as possible.
“Government’s callous, ill-thought-out decision to privatize the care of the province’s most vulnerable youth is failing before it begins,” she said today.
“Why is the bottom line more important than our moral and legal obligation to provide quality rehabilitation in a safe environment?”
Rogers notes that the people employed in the new group homes, when the homes are eventually opened for business, will be paid at just $13 an hour, “the hourly rate of a babysitter,” according to offers made at a recent job fair. This is appreciably less than the wages of the experienced, fully-trained staff who currently care for the youth.
She questions how $13 an hour will attract experienced people capable of providing the specialized care the youth need.