Child protection, three more years to avoid misery



A few years that change everything, cause us to fall into misery or, on the contrary, we become “a standing man” according to the formula of the Apprentis d’Auteuil Foundation. Since 2016, this major player in child protection has opened five “Toulines”, in order to support the young people it has welcomed when they become adults. This marine term refers to a mooring rope on a boat. Like this one, the Toulines, small friendly and warm structures, want to be an anchor point in the life of the young person, the place where he can find advice, or ask for help for his steps.

Does this type of project foreshadow the future? The law on the protection of children, which must be adopted on January 20, acts the extension until their 21 years of the care of young people placed. Emmanuel Macron sees it as only a first step and has hinted that, if re-elected, one of his social priorities would be to change ” destiny “ of these young people. “Between 25 and 30% of homeless people have gone through the ASE, he lamented on January 6 before the Federation of Social Actors, and so we see the determinism of child welfare today”.

In fact, faced with this relentless observation, Touline provides an answer. According to an impact study by France Générosité, out of 125 young beneficiaries between the ages of 19 and 21, only 3% were still homeless at the end of their support (compared to 43% when they entered the scheme); 27% came out hired on fixed-term contracts (compared to 6% at the start of treatment) and 26% on permanent contracts (compared to 3%).

“As there are many young people, we try to offer them multiple solutions, summarizes Cécile Valla, national manager of the program. Being there for the long term, available in the event of a “slack”, temporary doubt or more serious difficulties. One thing leading to another, many stories were written, explains the manager. There is, for example, this young girl “who passed a BEP then a professional baccalaureate then a nursing assistant diploma, now hired at the Bordeaux University Hospital. She has just signed, at just 21 years old, the lease of her first home. quotes Gaël Detrieux, coordinator of the Touline in Bordeaux. There is also this young couple who has just had a child, at 18 years old. “The mother was able to find a job, the father is finishing his CAP. They are housed by an association and, in a few months, they too will have their own accommodation. »

Nothing would have been possible without helping hands, big and small, but all essential, to help get through “the step which is very high between the home and total autonomy”, summarizes the former educator. And even when the trajectories remain chaotic, the Touline offers an anchor point. Thus, not all the young people followed in Bordeaux escape the streets. Two sleep there every night. “At least they know we’re there for them if they want to and they can call us anytime. », continues Gaël Detrieux.

This outstretched hand would be essential for all these young people on a ridge line, who find it difficult to find their way in an often complex system of solidarity. “They can drop out very quickly because they didn’t know how to knock on the right door at the right time”, continues the coordinator. Moreover, the young people who apply for Touline are not necessarily those who, during their placement, had been identified as the most fragile. “Sometimes, it was enough for nothing to get out of hand”, confirms Gael Detrieux.

This effective device remains, however, today, fragile. It does not exist everywhere and is financed, in large part, by private generosity, for lack of sufficient involvement of the public authorities. In this perspective, the announced reengagement of the State would be good news.

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