Parents ruined by the DYP

News 14 July, 2017
  • Karyne Darcy

    Geneviève Pettersen

    Friday, 14 July 2017 20:43

    Friday, 14 July 2017 20:43

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    To see his children be placed by the Directorate of youth protection should be an experience of heart-wrenching for any parent. Then, imagine having more than 100 000 dollars to the provincial body. This is the case of Karyne Darcy, who has, since 2008, the invoices issued by the Ministry of Health and social Services.

    All would have started with an ordinary water damage. Karyne and her four children found refuge in a motel room in the vicinity of Montreal. “The DPJ came to pick up my four children because of the instability of the housing,” says Karyne, 39 years.

    From there, everything shifts. Karyne has dealings with stakeholders. They suspect the mother of a family to have a borderline personality disorder and being unable to provide for the needs of her offspring. It refuses to give it back to the guard.

    Since 2008, therefore, Karyne is obliged to pay parental contributions amounting to nearly $ 2000 per month. Noémie Vanheuverzwijn, a spokesman for the ministry of Health and social services, explains to me that the parents whose children are placed in foster families or in residential centres must be obliged to contribute financially to their placement. “This helps to maintain the parental responsibility in the order, if this proves appropriate, to allow a return of the child in his family.”


    Bills salty

    The amount that parents pay is calculated based on family income and the age of the child and varies between 22,24$ and 645,80$ per month. “In truth, 70% of parents have a low income – less than$ 35,000 of family income declared per year – and only pay 22,24$ on a monthly basis,” says Noémie Vanheuverzwijn. “All the parents will continue to receive the benefits of support to the children of the government of Quebec.” Theoretically, they could use it to pay their due.

    But for the 30% of parents who have a taxable income, the bills were piling up. At the outset, Karyne Darcy was paying the minimum contribution because it benefited of social assistance or of the CSST. The arrival of a new spouse, with whom she has two other children (of which she has never lost custody) is a game-changer. Even if this new lover is not the father of the children, his salary is taken into account in the calculation of family income. “We pay over $ 4000 per month. At one point, he found another address where he lived supposedly for lower amounts to be paid.”

    Karyne Darcy


    And as the DPJ may be to seize assets or the parents ‘ salary-payers, Karine has nothing to his name, in addition to having waived the work despite her training in nursing care and intervention in drug abuse. “I’m not going to go to work at 25-30$ an hour when I know they will take me in the end.”

    But Karyne do not cross the arms. In order to help families struggling with the same problems with the DYP, she has created with her sister and her spouse, a non-profit organization, the ACAFQ (Aid, Advice and Assistance to the Family in Quebec). They are currently dealing with a fifty folders.


    Unable to pay

    The case of Karyne Darcy is not a fault in the system. Another mother of a family, who wants to be called Caroline in order to protect her daughter, also needs a lot of money to the Ministry of health and social services, since the loss of custody of her daughter, in 2008.

    At the time, Caroline was living alone with his five year old daughter. The father of the little girl, a pedophile, had been banned from contact with the mother. One afternoon, he enters her home, ignoring the restrictions imposed by the Court. “He told me that if I wasn’t taking all the medications that I kept with us, he would get our daughter.” Terrified, she swallows all the pills that contains the pharmacy. “I listened to her for saving my daughter. When he left, I called 911 and they brought me to the hospital.” It is here that the DYP would have him removed from the custody of his child, under the pretext that Caroline is suicidal.

    The procedures to retrieve the girl last three years. During this period, Caroline must be present 14 times in progress. It has not recovered the custody of his daughter, who lives since this time in a family home. “I get every month an invoice for about $ 500 that I should in theory have to pay to meet those needs. This is the amount of a rent and I cannot pay that much. But they can enter it on my salary, so at the moment I am not working.” The invoice of Carolina amounted at that date to more than$14,000


    No exception to the rule

    It is clear that the parents who lose custody of their children do not attract spontaneously sympathy. As the testimonies collected in this report do not reflect only one side of the medal. Also, for privacy concerns, the CFO could not comment on the present case.However, I can’t help but think that the exorbitant amounts claimed by the DYP to Karyne and Caroline will contribute only to the impoverishing more and more on the social and economic plan.

    Wanting to empower these parents, they are forced instead to withdraw from the labour market or even turn to fraud to try to get the head out of the water. I asked Noémie Vanheuverzwijn about the paradox of these are requested from families in exchange for the support of their children. “It’s the law,” settled a spokesperson. “And it is also for the sake of fairness to the other families, those who have custody of their children and must pay, is to require a parental contribution.”

    Ok. It is logical after all. It’s expensive to raise a child, then it is normal be a little his hand if his is entrusted to the care of the state. But when it comes to amounts of up to 645 dollars per month per child, isn’t this a bit counterproductive? I have a hard time chasing this image of a body, cold and calculating who hits on people already on the ground.

    For Karyne and Caroline in any case, these debts colossal pose a major obstacle to the achievement of their ultimate goal : to reconnect with their children.