Special needs hotel living spaces deemed 'unsafe'

Protection worker Lorrie Pepin says she's concerned about the safety of young Ontarians temporarily living in hotels due to a lack of support services within the system, according to a recent news report.

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Pepin, president of CUPE Local 5319 for Simcoe Muskoka child, youth and family services, says they're in dangerous situations.

"I think when people hear about a hotel, they have this perception that it's the Hilton, but we're not talking about the Hilton here," she told CBC Radio's Windsor Morning.

"The hotels where we're placing children and youth are unsafe, dirty, often bedbug infested places. We have human traffickers, drug dealers who are searching and surveying the premises, looking for their next victims."

Pepin said the province is aware—knowingly warehousing youth in these situations. In a statement, Ontario's Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services said child protection services are delivered "exclusively" by children's aid societies.

"The ministry does not direct children's aid societies on placement decisions; placing agencies are in the best position to determine a suitable placement for the child that meets the child's needs," it said.

The association said its members rely on the ministry being responsible for licensing, and in some cases funding and/or delivering out-of-home care to children and youth in the province.

Read the full story here.

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