A tenth of Dutch kids in contact with youth care

A total of 428 thousand Dutch children and young people up to the age of 23 were assisted by youth care in some way last year. That is nearly 1 in 10 of all Dutch aged 23 and younger. In 2017 youth care assisted 420 thousand kids and young people, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday based on provisional figures. 

The number of kids aided by youth care has been increasing since 2015, the year in which the responsibility for youth care shifted from the national government to municipalities. In 2015 youth care - which includes youth aid, youth protection and youth rehabilitation - helped 380 thousand children, teenagers and young people. 

Youth care is intended for kids up to the age of 18 with behavioral- or psychological issues, but can be extended to age 23. Last year over youth care assisted over 15 thousand young people between the ages of 18 and 23. 

The stats office noticed that children and young people are more often in contact with youth care in municipalities in Limburg and in the northeast of the Netherlands. Here 12.5 percent of Dutch up to the age of 23 are being treated or aided by youth care. And children and young people in the regions around the Netherlands' four largest cities are more often treated by youth rehabilitation. 

Statistics Netherlands could give no explanation for these differences in youth care use. "Social, economic and political circumstances may be at the bottom of this", the stats office said .