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Disability: new parenting assistance arouses hope and reservations – France

It is a helping hand that was eagerly awaited! Since January 1, the “disability compensation benefit” (PCH) – which finances aid, human or material, to meet the essential needs of the people concerned – can now apply to actions to be performed as a parent. With this “PCH parenting”, the aim is to prevent “people from giving up becoming parents because of their disability,” Emmanuel Macron stressed last year, announcing this reform.

This new device “has the merit of existing, we have been asking for it for so long,” underlines Malika Boubekeur, from the APF France Handicap association. In addition, it is “symbolically important”, because disabled people are thus recognized in their role as parents.

However, the new service is “clearly insufficient” and unsuitable, she laments. On the one hand because it excludes too many families who would nevertheless need it, on the other hand because it is based on a logic of fixed price, which does not take into account the reality of the parents’ disability, and therefore their needs. real.

Beneficiaries can thus finance a maximum of one hour of human assistance per day when the child is under three years old, then half an hour per day between three and seven years old, then nothing after the child’s seventh birthday.

“It’s not planned”

According to a recent survey conducted by APF, more than half of 94 people with disabilities who responded to a questionnaire say they need help as parents. However, two-thirds were unaware of the new service, very few asked for it, and 62% would not be entitled to it anyway.

Because, to reach PCH parenting, you must already be eligible for PCH in general, and therefore need help for yourself. This excludes people who are rather autonomous, but who would need assistance in their role as parents.

This is the case of Caroline

… Despite her walking difficulties, due to a neuromuscular disease, this young woman was managing on her own, before becoming a mother. But she “does not have the strength” to carry her two-year-old child, and “that is not expected,” she quips.

“When my son was born, I had to lie. I asked for the PCH, explaining that I could not take my shower alone, ”sighs the thirty-something, who has since filed a file to perceive the“ real ”PCH parenting… and is still waiting for the answer.

Just like Audrey, 28, who was born with cerebral palsy. She too is hopeful of receiving the new benefit, with retroactive effect to January 1.

In her case, parenting assistance, one hour a day, would be added to the seven hours already granted to her under the PCH, but this will still be insufficient. Currently, for lack of a satisfactory solution, her five-year-old boy is placed in a home, and she only sees him in the evening after school, in the presence of an educator.

“For his safety, I cannot be alone with him, even at night,” explains the young woman, already worried about the idea that the aid will stop when her son is 7 years old.

The problem taken “upside down”

With this device, the government “took the problem backwards”, by offering help “according to the age of the child, and not the handicap of the parent”, analyzes Florence Méjécase-Neugebauer, mother in wheelchair for two children aged 4 and 13, and president of the Handiparentalité association.

Despite all these reservations, this reform constitutes an important “societal recognition”, however believes this activist. By delegating fewer tasks to their able-bodied spouse or grandparents, the disabled parent will be able to “find a little more room” with their child, she hopes.

The first names of the mothers interviewed have been changed

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