Youth care waiting lists a danger for children: judges

Child with teddy bear
Child with teddy bear. (Photo: t.tomsickova/DepositPhotos)

The judges in family court are very concerned about the waiting lists for youth protection. Some families have to wait months for youth care workers to become available. Vulnerable children become the victims of staff shortages, the judges warned, RTL Nieuws reports.

The judges posted dozens of anonymous rulings on rechtspraak.nl to show the problem. The rulings show children dealing with domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse by parents, and violent divorces. Children have fled their parents, are no longer attending school, and have no contact with their friends. "In these cases we saw that there was no youth care worker. A judge talks through their rulings. By putting them online, we want to show what is going on with families and why it is so important for a solution to be found", Susanne Tempel, family court judge at the Zeeland-West-Brabant court, said to RTL.

"The shortage of youth care workers has been a growing problem for months", Tempel said. "Some families are not helped for months. But you cannot put a 6-year-old child who is suffering child abuse on a waiting list for six months."

Youth protection Brabant is well aware of these problems, director Rene Meuwissen said to the broadcaster. "In our district, 41 children are on the waiting list: 34 in the Zeeland and West-Brabant region and 7 in Oost-Brabant. For the first time in a long time, there are more rulings that require a youth protection measure. More employees are needed and it may be that sometimes no youth care worker is immediately available", Meuwissen said. "From the moment that waiting lists threatened to arise, we started recruiting new people. But due to the high workload, the outflow of staff is high at 15 to 20 percent. It is difficult to find good people." 

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