Quebecers who were in youth protection less likely to graduate, be employed: study

MONTREAL — A recent study commissioned by the Quebec government says young people who had been in the care of the province’s youth protection authorities are less likely to graduate from high school or to be employed than their peers.

The study, conducted by researchers at several Quebec universities, found only 37 per cent of youth who were in care had graduated high school by the time they turned 21, compared to 86 per cent of all Quebecers.

It found one−third of 21−year−olds who had been in care were not employed, in school or in a training program, compared to less than 10 per cent of all Quebecers the same age.

The researchers say unstable living environments, such as changing placements within youth protection, make it more difficult for young people to keep jobs.

Jessica Côté−Guimond, the director of a collective of people who had been in care, says children are placed in an average of five to nine different living environments while they are in the youth protection system.

She says the study shows that resources are needed to help young people transition to adult life when they age out of care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 21, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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