The birth of Petit Pont
In 1992, a committee made up of two criminologists and a social worker was established and Petit Pont was officially founded on October 21st.
Next was added a team of four youth center workers and two lawyers to work on the implementation of the service. It was in Saint-Hyacinthe in 1994 that the Petit Pont commenced its activities. At its outset, the organization operated mainly thanks to the involvement of volunteers.
In 1998, Le Petit Pont required that visits be supervised by trained staff to ensure a professional service adapted to various family dynamics. Volunteers remain essential source of support for proper functioning of the organization.
In 2001, Le Petit Pont opened a second service location in Longueuil.
The resource's role and expertise
Le Petit Pont is an autonomous community organization which allows the formation and maintenance of a parent / child relationship in a harmonious, neutral, family environment. It provides parents and children with access rights supervision services, as well as information and support services for families in a situation of separation and conflict.
To support families in a situation of separation and conflict, the Petit Pont has, for several years, provided information workshops and support services to counsel and equip parents and to direct them towards resources according to their needs. No references are required to obtain these services. Parents act on a voluntary basis.
The interests of the child are the organization’s the top priority. That is why we make a point of establishing a safe environment, in collaboration with professionals in the field.
The right of access is a legally recognized right that parents are entitled to have access to their children. This right is shared between the custodial parent (or the person assuming the day-to-day responsibility of the child) and the other parent.
Access rights supervision services are of an exceptional and transitional nature. They are only accorded in situations requiring supervision and accompaniment, especially during supervised visits and child custody exchanges. These services are used by parents following an order of the Superior Court or the Quebec Court Youth Division where the exercise of a right of access to children is interrupted, difficult or conflicting.
Parents may also present themselves on a voluntary basis, as long as each agrees to receive the services of the Petit Pont. No mediation or negotiation is done by the organization.
When clients are referred by the Superior Court, access rights supervision resources, such as Petit Pont, must ensure that the judgment is respected while taking into account the establishment’s own mandate and availability.
Youth Protection may also require the services of the organization. The role of Petit Pont is to observe the parent-child relationship in relation to the objectives established by Youth Protection for these families. These objectives can be, for example, to coach or support the parent in terms of parenting skills.
The organization has its own internal rules and regulations in order to respect its mandates of neutrality, protection and observation.
The principles on which the access rights services are based
The safety of the child
This form of safety applies both physically and psychologically and takes various forms; among other things, by the presence of a monitor in constant auditory and visual contact with the child and his / her parent.
The monitors possess a college or university education, access rights services training and first aid qualification. In addition, the organization has an emergency protocol, a first aid kit, posters on food allergies and regulations concerning its code of non-violence.
Le Petit Pont offers its services in a neutral context, that is to say, a place other than the parents' home where there is no prejudice or interpretation, and where everyone is treated in a fair and equal manner.
Provide services of an exceptional and transitional nature
Services are part of a framework that is intended to be temporary and constantly evolving. The organization acts as a stepping stone for parents who, as far as possible, must move towards other approaches concerned with the well-being and safety of the child outside the walls of the organization.
An environment that is similar to that of a family
The premises are suitable for all ages. They allow the rediscovery of a daily routine (kitchen, playroom, gym) and reduce the stresses of a supervised environment.
- Respect the rights of both children and parents;
- Create a healthy climate for the child so that he / she is not witness to
- Situations that could compromise his/her development (misunderstanding, violence, abuse, neglect);
- Provide a safe and supportive environment;
- Depending on the case, accompany, advise, equip and refer.