Friday, April 17, 2015 - 14:00
Testing out services on youth care "unacceptable": Children's rep
According to Children's Ombudsman Marc Dullaert, the help for children has become a "big testing ground" since it became the task of the municipalities on January 1st. Access to youth care is not organized well enough and he fears that children who need help is falling by the wayside. "Experimenting is part of a new system, but experimenting with vulnerable children is unacceptable", Dullaert said. A study on youth care shows that municipalities are very busy sorting out their own organizations, Trouw reports. Most municipalities have put access to youth care in the hands of a neighborhood team, but they are often not very well organized. There is uncertainty about duties, approach and power. One of the goals of decentralization is addressing families on their "own strength". Dullaert thinks that this approach is becoming too much of a mantra, while immediate action sometimes needs to be taken for the safety of a child. Another problem he spotted is that it is not always clear who is in charge when multiple caregivers are involved with a family. Dulleart advises municipalities to immediately get a clear picture of which children are receiving care and from which caregivers. He also wants them to be clearer on where a child or parent can go if they need help. Dulleart recommends developing minimum quality requirements and an "assessment framework" for the balance between addressing problems by own strength and ensuring a child's safety.