Prepare to be angry. Sunday, at 9:10 p.m., restricted area will focus on “the new foster children scandal”. “New” because, two years ago, the magazine M6 had already investigated the worrying failures of Social Assistance to Children (ASE). The report had the honor of being screened in the National Assembly but, despite the strong emotion it caused at the time, little has changed since then.
The journalists returned to the houses they had marked. “In Dijon (Côte-d’Or), it was a very pleasant surprise. Everything had been transformed, the procedures were applied and one of the kids even told the reporter that it was paradise”, says Jean-Charles Doria, who directed the two documentaries.
This is the only reason to rejoice observed. “In the children’s home in Seine-Saint-Denis, on the other hand, the walls have been painted but nothing is offered to teenagers,” continues the director. Only one of the minors who resides there goes to school, the others go “to work”, as they say, when in reality they participate in drug trafficking in the next-door urbanization.
The survey released this Sunday will include young people staying in hotels. There would be 10,000 to be housed in basic rooms, practically cloistered, with no short-term perspective. The cameras thus follow in particular, in Paris, the daily life of two adolescents in this situation, in great anguish.
“Images and situations that can only shock”
Upon discovering their stories, Dominique Versini, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of child protection, was stunned. “She herself had to put pressure on her teams to get things moving,” says Jean-Charles Doria. She told me that she had visited hotels when she took office and knew how things were going there. But she was only shown what we wanted to show her. There is great ignorance on the part of true leaders who have the end cut [le pouvoir de décision finale]. »
Charlotte Caubel, the Prime Minister’s Secretary of State for Children, says she is unaware of the situation. “We see there images and situations that can only shock and that I describe as unacceptable”, she confided, heated, at the end of September, after having seen an hour of the report at the M6 headquarters. She passed the ointment to the team restricted area “This whistleblower role is essential. Thanks to you, at least every two years, France takes an interest in the protection of children. Then he caressed her with a horsehair glove: “There is a journalistic bias, but it is your editorial freedom. Since the shooting things have changed. A law was passed in February to ban hotel pickup. »
“The Bleeding Has Started”
Except that 10,000 young people staying in hotels cannot be served elsewhere in the blink of an eye. Charlotte Caubel defends herself by saying that there is “a transition period because houses have to be built” and suggests that it takes time because “nobody wants this type of structure next to their houses. »
“It takes time to apply, admits Jean-Charles Doria. But between the time the law was implemented and today, nothing has happened. When we call temporary workers [embauchés comme éducateurs]They didn’t ask them to leave the hotels, to stop taking care of the children…” The journalist is worried. He argues that “nearly 50% of foster families will retire in five years. He has started bleeding and at home, with specialized educators, it is the same. »
The Secretary of State would almost hold M6 responsible for it. “The report two years ago was an electric shock but it also weakened the attractiveness of the profession,” he ventures. The director of it claims to have had a “good return” from those interested after the broadcast of the first documentary. “I was hoping to take it to my head because it’s a very corporate environment. The opposite happened. The educators thanked me for saying out loud what was wrong. Even the people filmed without their knowledge were happy to have taken part in denouncing this spinning system,” he recounts.
“The hidden camera is essential”
Most of the footage in Sunday’s report was also shot with a hidden, covert camera. “We cut it out during editing, but in one of the houses someone said, ‘They speared us the first time, we don’t want it to happen again,'” smiles producer Tony Comiti.
“If we asked for authorizations, we would not see the same things. Departmental communication controls everything. When we go to film with their green light, they always deceive us, regrets Jean-Charles Doria. That is why the hidden camera process is essential. None of the departments contacted regarding hotel services, for example, accepted our requests. »
“I don’t expect to change the world”
“The departments do not have the obligation to provide them with figures, statistics. There is no transparency”, he continues, emphasizing that, in front of them, “the Secretary of State has very little power”. “I am convinced that the State must more than ever put a foot in this policy carried out by the departments,” argues Charlotte Caubel for her part. This Sunday at the end of restricted areashe will make several announcements on the set.
“I don’t expect to change the world, but I’m glad something positive is happening. As journalists, our role is important but, in addition, examples such as the Dijon hostel show that when there is energy, when there is fear of being unmasked and when controls are carried out, there is a way to do things effectively. ”, emphasizes Jean-Charles Doria. It is not for all that naive. He specifies that he could make a documentary a year on the subject: “you just have to bend down to find misery.”