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Monday, July 20, 2015 - 16:14
Over 100,000 youth miss out on needed social services
A very large group of vulnerable young people are not receiving the social help and financial aid they need because municipalities have lost track of them. This group consists of some 100 thousand young people who have fallen off the municipalities' radar. This is according to a recently published report by the Inspectorate for Social Affairs and Employment, NOS reports. Since the decentralizations, municipalities have taken on many more care tasks, including the responsibility of caring for unemployed youth. The report concludes that 70 percent of the municipalities do not keep track of these vulnerable young people. A quarter of these municipalities think that bringing these young people into the picture is not their job. Despite the fact that municipalities are required to follow young people without a qualification until the age of 23 years. Researchers from the Inspectorate are very critical of these municipalities. "There young people are deprived of income support, and the much-needed reintegration support. They disappear from the radar of the Social Services of the municipality. Overall these unemployed youth, especially the vulnerable ones, deserve better." the researchers write. Within municipalities, client managers are responsible for the supervision of young people, with the primary task of getting as many young people as possible to get a diploma. Jasmine Lee Sack Fong, chairman of the association of client managers, told NOS that it is very possible that young people can drop of the municipalities' radar. "The risk is that if someone does not want to stick to a training obligation, then he or she gets no benefit, or we terminate the benefit. Then such a young person can also fall out of view." According to her, municipalities currently have no financial incentive to assist these young people. It only costs municipalities money to help them, without benefits being saved. A young person's chances on the job market improves when social services work together with education, welfare and health care institutions. The Inspectorate discovered that this cooperation hardly exists. Zwerfjongeren Nederland, an organization aimed at improving the situation of homeless youths, believes that the only solution is developing a long-term vision. "Otherwise we will create a lost generation", Kees van Anken said to NOS. "There are already twice as many young people in the unemployment figures. If we want to give these young people perspective, a future in society, we must invest."