Protective measures

Administrative educational support

Are you having problems bringing up your children? Are you afraid that these difficulties might compromise their future and upset family stability? Do you want to talk about it or get advice, help and support from an organisation that respects your family's privacy and makes no judgement?

On your request and after assessment of your situation, the council can appoint a social worker to offer full support with your children's upbringing. Firstly, with you and your children, depending on their age and level of maturity, this social worker:

  • will examine your situation, the difficulties you are encountering in bringing up your children and will seeks ways to solve your problems
  • within the framework of a memorandum of understanding, a contractual document signed by you, the social worker and the territorial child welfare officer from the Aide Sociale à l'Enfance (ASE) in your district, will determine the objectives, which are commitments for both you and the department, and define the resources required, the conditions, the duration of this action and the terms, if applicable, of its renewal.

Child placement

mesures protection enfant accueil

In the event of serious abuse or where the family refuses the educational support available, the child’s well-being may require a temporary or permanent break from the family. Responsibility for the child is then entrusted by the legal authorities to Orne Council. The council is responsible for his health, welfare and educational well-being and his placement in a care structure. The ASE’s priority is to make sure the child can return to a stable, supervised environment as quickly as possible.

As part of its child protection mission, Orne Council employs over 400 foster carers whose role is to take abused or neglected children into their own homes.

To meet more specific requirements (for example, taking in minors in major difficulty or accommodating mothers and children together), Orne Council also funds placements in Maisons d'Enfants à Caractère Social (MECS) – children’s care homes - and other sheltered accommodation (lieux de vie). It also manages two other care structures (the Foyer de l'enfance children’s home and the Centre maternel - mother and children’s centre - in Alençon). In all, around 900 children are taken care of by Orne Council every year.

The type of care depends on the child’s and the family’s difficulties:

The maisons d'enfants à caractère social and the lieux de vie

Orne Council has four MECS children’s homes with 187 places for children aged 3-18 years. You can ask the welfare action unit in your district to place your child in a MECS to help you overcome temporary difficulties, to prevent parent-child relationships or the family environment getting worse.

The lieu de vie type sheltered accommodation is an intermediary step between the foster family and a care home, designed for pre-adolescent and adolescents for whom group care would be unsuitable. The Orne has 15 places in 2 lieux de vie.

The temporary placement of a minor in a home is one of the main ways that the council's child welfare department can help parents and protect children. This placement may also be ordered by a children’s judge to take the child away from the danger that their parents (potentially) present. Whatever the situation, its role is to help you assume your full parental responsibility and in particular your role in educating and protecting your child/ren.

The Foyer de l'enfance home

The Foyer de l’enfance in Alençon houses minors on a temporary basis or as part of a legal procedure. It prepares children for a return to their family, for placement in a foster family or in a specialist establishment. It is a place where young people learn to live by the rules of life in community, while benefiting from a number of educational and leisure activities.

In most cases, parents maintain their rights and duties with regard to their children. Families experiencing difficulties and who take voluntary steps to get help can find support from the welfare staff in Orne's district welfare action centres.

The Foyer de l’enfance accommodates around 76 children and teenagers each year. It works closely with:

  • the families
  • staff from Orne’s district welfare action centres.

The Centre maternel (mother and children’s home)

The Centre maternel in Alençon offers a home for women in difficulty (following domestic violence or other problems in the couple, homelessness and so on), mothers with their children or mothers-to-be.

The educational team at the Centre maternel is there to:

  • protect children and their well-being
  • help mothers bring up their children and help them to become independent once again
  • support mothers materially and psychologically as they manage aspects of everyday life (medical checks, sending the children to school, child day care, providing fun activities on Wednesdays (when there is no school) and during the holidays, etc.)

Where there is a serious family crisis, the children may be entrusted to the institution as soon as they are born.