Pascal Brice is president of the Federation of Solidarity Actors (FAS) which brings together nearly 800 associations in the social action and accommodation sector. If he emphasizes the benefits of support aid during the health crisis, he calls on the government not to count only “On the mechanical effects of the recovery”.
How did the people your associations support get through the health crisis?
With difficulty, like everyone else, and even more so because they have encountered problems in feeding and caring for themselves, in an accentuated loneliness and marginality. The crisis has pushed many people, especially young people, into precariousness. I am struck by the growing gap between these audiences, pushed to the margins, and the rest of society, yet caught in a vertigo of social downgrading. For me, this is one more reason to act.
However, the public authorities did not spare their efforts, released emergency aid, opened accommodation, allocated funds. Did they achieve their goal?
Yes, the aid has made it possible to prevent the explosion of poverty, and this is major. But I would not like the public authorities, after this health crisis, seeing the economy recovering with unfilled jobs and counting on the mechanical effects of the recovery, stick to a kind of relief that would be illusory and ultimately detrimental. . Because poverty and precariousness are taking root among women, the long-term unemployed, low-income retirees, young people excluded from employment, in rural areas, in neighborhoods … It is necessary to carry out the correct diagnosis and tackle it quickly, with determination and over time.
What measures do you propose?
The creation of an income and support for young people in precariousness is the first urgency. We are looking forward to it. Too many of these young people that we see pass, so far, under the radars. We have to go find them, offer them appropriate support, set up with them a flexible system, adaptable according to their situation, with the players in the territories.
We have made good progress on this subject with the Minister of Labor and our associations are, with the local missions, ready to act. But we need social workers, because they are lacking and their recruitment is difficult, the schools which train them do not fill up. It is a difficult profession, which must be recognized and valued with better salaries. How do we manage, in the moment we are going through, with these professionals who appease society?
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