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Friday, July 31, 2015 - 09:09
Child protection budgets dry up as 233k youth seek care
A total of 233 thousand young people received youth care, youth protection or juvenile rehabilitation in the first quarter of this year. With five months left in the year, some municipalities' youth care budget is already running out. On January 1st youth care became the responsibility of the municipalities. The state is providing less money for youth care, a cut of 15 percent over the next three years. To avoid exceeding the budget, many municipalities paid caregivers a sum for the whole of 2015 at the beginning of the year, the Volkskrant reports. This amount was mostly based on patient figures over previous years. Some psychologists practices have already treated so many children, that they can't take in any more for the rest of the year. Dutch Institute of Psychologists calls this "worrisome". "What about the rest of the year?", a spokesperson said. The municipalities assured the newspaper that if an institution is over budget, the children will be sent to another healthcare provider, thus care is guaranteed. The Association of Dutch Municipalities also stated that getting a child to the appropriate care provider stands paramount. "But the municipalities feel the tension between the budget and providing care", spokesperson Asha Khoenkhoen said. According to figures released by Statistics Netherlands on Friday, a total of 233 thousand children received some form of youth care in the first quarter of this year. 85 percent of them were in youth care, where children and their parents get help with, for example, psychological or behavioral problems or learning difficulties. Twelve percent received child protection and three percent were in juvenile rehabilitation. A total of one in ten kids received more than one of these types of youth care. Boys were more often in youth care than girls - 140 thousand boys and 93 thousand girls. Boys were more often in basic youth care and juvenile rehabilitation than girls. Child protection was spread pretty evenly across both genders.