As the crisis in nursing homes heats up, lawyers are becoming more involved, arguing that it’s time for the federal government to intervene.
“It’s not a good thing,” said Robert K. Jepsen, a lawyer who has represented dozens of nursing homes across the country.
“We have to do something to protect the vulnerable people in our care, which means protecting the people who are at risk of harm.”
Mr. Jepssen is an expert on residential care and the law of residential child care, and he’s helping the government respond to a growing number of complaints of abuse at homes for the elderly and disabled.
He’s calling on the government to act on a petition he has filed with the Canadian Human Rights Commission and on the request of the Canadian Council of Social Workers, an advocacy group that represents workers who work with people with disabilities.
The petition, which was submitted this month, asks the federal minister of social assistance to consider providing the government with new powers to protect vulnerable people, including caregivers, caregivers’ assistants and caregivers with disabilities, who are often abused.
In the petition, Mr. Kepssen says that as of the beginning of 2018, there were more than 1,500 complaints of child abuse and neglect in nursing home facilities.
The vast majority of the complaints were against older women who were abused by their spouses or other family members, he said.
“Most of them were committed to their home for the foreseeable future,” Mr. Daley said.
Some of the abusers are also victims of sexual abuse or other trauma.
“They’re really vulnerable,” he said, “and it’s really not good for them to be abused at home.”
The government has not yet provided details on how the government plans to deal with complaints against nursing homes, which account for more than half of all nursing home residents.
The government’s role, Mr Daley and others say, will be to protect them, rather than the vulnerable.
“What the government is doing is going to be really, really critical,” said Mr. Bouchard, who is also the president of the Canada Nursing Home Association, a group of the country’s most experienced and skilled nursing homes.
“If we don’t intervene, we’re going to see an explosion in the number of abuse complaints.”
The petition to the government comes on the heels of the release of a report by the independent human rights watchdog, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which found that more than 300,000 residential child-care homes in Canada have been operating without adequate protections for children.
“A lot of the people we’re dealing with are in the most vulnerable situations, which is why we need to address this in a very robust way,” said Ms. Bourgeault, who said the report was a key factor in her decision to launch the petition.
“There is so much we don.t know.
What’s going on?
Where is the protection for these children?
And if we don, we have to put these families at risk.”
The Canadian Centre For Policy Alternates report, which analyzed complaints against 2,800 residential child health centres, found that there were a variety of reasons for the lack of protections for child care workers.
Most of the allegations were made by residents who were victims of violence, sexual abuse, neglect or exploitation.
One woman was allegedly sexually abused in her care and others reported having physical or sexual abuse at home.
“Many people are in dire situations and they’re in desperate need of protection, but no one is being protected,” said Karen Tait, the executive director of the Ontario Centre for Child and Family Safety, which monitors child care homes and other vulnerable populations.
The Canadian government says it has implemented several changes to address concerns over child care worker abuse and safety, including creating a hotline for abuse survivors and training new staff.
In addition, the government has expanded its capacity to provide services for those who need them most.
The federal government is also developing a new child care and child care resource centre in Toronto that will be fully staffed with child care professionals.
It is also spending more than $20 million to expand its own human resources department and to create a new department to provide support to child care providers, including the legal, medical and financial services.
“The fact that we’ve seen so many new allegations of child care abuse, I’m so pleased,” said Kevin Donovan, the minister of justice, who oversees the Human Resources and Skills Development department.
“This is really a wake-up call to the minister.
She has a lot of work to do to ensure that we’re protecting children.”
The Harper government has said it is aware of the petition and that it is working on the response.
But, said the Liberal justice critic, Peter Kent, “it is not enough to be outraged.
It must be acted on.”