Give kids under guardianship more say in their lives, Children's Ombudsman

(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)

Children under guardianship are not sufficiently involved in the decisions made about them, Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer wrote in a letter to institutions and the responsible ministers on Thursday. According to Kalverboer, the child protectors want the best for these children, but much can be improved in the decision making process around these kids, reports.

Almost 12 thousand children in the Netherlands are under full custody of a certified institution. The authority over these kids do not lie with their parents, but with a guardian who works at the certified institution. 

"Children and young people tell me that they are not involved in the decisions and do not know which adults are allowed to say something about their situation. They feel that the guardian does not know them well enough to make a good decision. On top of that, they have nowhere to turn if they do not agree with a decision", Kalverboer said.

Kalverboer therefore wants it to be possible for the decisions of certified institutions about the placement or care of a child under guardianship to be tested by an independent party. "At the moment guardians, foster parents or other persons around the child can not go anywhere if they do not agree with a decision. That while there are various options for children with a supervision order to submit decisions and disputes to the juvenile court judge. This distinction is incomprehensible."

The Children's Ombudsman also calls on certified institutions to involve children more in the decisions made about them. She also thinks that more room and time should be given for guardians to build a relationship of trust with the children under their care.