Investigation launched into abuse in foster homes, youth care

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The government is launching a full investigation into physical abuse of children who were removed from their homes by child welfare. The investigation, launched based on the advice of the De Winter committee, will span from 1945 until present.

The De Winter committee looked into abuse of these children in this period and found several indications of prolonged and serious violence against them, the committee writes in a report published on Tuesday. Even without setting up a hotline, the committee received some 200 reports about violence in youth care institutions and foster homes, ANP reports.

The committee advised the government to launch a full investigation into child abuse in foster homes and youth care facilities and to open a hotline for victims. This will also contribute contribute to the social recognition of what happened to the victims.

The government decided to follow the committees advice. A full investigation will be launched and a victim hotline will be established. "We must prevent this from happening again" State Secretary Martin van Rijn said to broadcaster NOS, adding that the government is committed to getting to the bottom of this.

According to Van Rijn, the government will announce details on exactly how this investigation will be done before the summer.