Cities unprepared for child welfare changes

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Many municipalities in The Netherlands do not seem ready to take over youth care, or child welfare, tasks from the government next year, under the new municipal tasks reorganization. According to a letter to Parliament from State Secretaries Martin van Rijn (Health, Welfare and Sport) and Fred Teeven (Security and Justice), the Cabinet will examine these municipalities. 

It is unclear whether there will be enough money for children to remain at youth homes when the reorganization goes in on the 1st of January.

According to the State Secretaries' letter, a quarter of child welfare regions are in trouble. Van Rijn will travel to these areas to discuss issues with institutions, and to inform them about the changes. If needed, "administrative steps" will be taken if needed.

A spokesperson for the organizations of Youth & Foster Help and the Bureaus Youth Care tells Het Parool that the transfer of tasks from government to municipality is going too fast. A poll amongst these youth organizations shows that there is little visibility on the budget they have for 2015, meaning they are unprepared to guarantee thorough care and security, according to Jeugdzorg.

It may be that an emergency act is required that ensures the tasks and the budget remain with the government until municipalities are fully prepared to take them over. In this way, quality of care is still guaranteed.