“If the Republic had kept its eyes open, it would have seen the bruises, the tears, the fear”, the shocking testimony of Mathilda, a foster child

“If the Republic had kept its eyes open, it would have seen the bruises, the tears, the fear”, the shocking testimony of Mathilda, a foster child

L’adjudante Léa Milheau, Aurélien Robert, Claire Hédon, Véronique Calueba et Sylvain Louvet ont débattu du sort des enfants placés. Midi Libre – SYLVIE CAMBON

This Thursday, May 16, the Rencontres d’Occitanie organized by the Fondation du Groupe Dépêche opened the debate on the fate of children in care. Mathilda Boosy took the floor to tell her story, she actively campaigns against the disaster experienced by young people entrusted to the State everywhere in France.

"If child welfare had not failed to carry out its investigations, it would have seen that this little 7 year old had been declared abducted by Childfocus. If the Republic had kept its eyes open, it would have seen the bruises, the tears, the fear. She would have found the father, in despair, who had been looking for his daughter for three years, in vain."

Courageously, Mathilda Boosy, member of the vigilance committee for placed children, spoke this Thursday, May 16, on the occasion of the Rencontres d’Occitanie dedicated to the care and monitoring of foster children.

Her testimony, which describes the cascading failures of social services, "this little girl will live in terror for ten more years", despite reports and the consequences for the young woman she has become, "today this little girl is still fighting against her traumas", says better than any expert, the flaws of a system "out of breath", as described by Lyess Louffok, also a foster child, at the origin of the creation of this collective. "I’survived. But so many others don’t. How many more children must we lose ? How many more children are we going to destroy ? When are we going to protect them ?"

"So that our fight becomes your fight"

A testimony "among many others so that our fight becomes your fight. Because the Republic is also you, your money, your voice. And that this violence exists with your tacit consent, calls out to the young woman.

After the media coverage of dramatic news stories concerning young people taken care of by child welfare and thanks to the work of the collective's activists, a parliamentary commission is currently working on the dysfunctions of the system.  "We are investigating fourteen departments after being alerted by social workers, magistrates" entry announcement Claire Hédon, Defender Rights.

Among the guests, journalist Sylvain Louvet, author of two shocking documentaries on the subject which contributed to this awareness. It confirms the state of disrepair of the sector. "I still receive many testimonies every day via social networks. In all departments of France, there are problems."

Persistent difficulties

Lack of places and children awaiting placement, violence, emergency accommodation in hotels, the debate helped to highlight all these dysfunctions which harm the youngest. &quot ;It is said that a society which mistreats its elderly insults its future, what can we say about a society which mistreats children ?" s’ ;questions Sylvain Louvet.

Children too often alone facing issues that are beyond them. If the hearings of minors are today carried out with professionalism, as explained by adjutant Léa Milheau, assistant to the Family Protection House unit, the presence of a lawyer at their sides proves essential for monitoring.

"The public authorities have not chosen to systematize this support but we will continue to work to make it so", assures Aurélien Robert, president of the Lawyer and Child association. The observation is terrible. Word is being released about the fate of these placed children, but the difficulties persist.

"Child protection in France has never been so degraded"

"Political power makes decisions based on citizen pressure", continues Sylvain Louvet. "After the broadcast of the first documentary, Brigitte Macron intervened, a Secretariat of State was created ten days later… and finally, all this resulted in a release of 50 million euros for all French departments which represent a budget of 8 billion. Politicians must understand that for major issues, major decisions must be made. And to achieve this awareness, we need testimonies like that of Mathilda, insists the latter.

"The subject of childhood is hot at the moment at the Assembly of the Departments of France", responds Véronique Calueba, vice-president of the Department of Hérault in charge of solidarity. "All the Departments report difficulties, we should not believe that politicians do nothing.

The current parliamentary commission of inquiry should make it possible to take a precise inventory of the situation. Claire Hédon, the Defender of Rights will be interviewed. "This is an opportunity to take stock of the means we need given the& ;rsquo;state of child protection in France which, I would like to say, has never been so degraded, she recalled .

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