Youth care waiting times dangerously long; 10 months on average: Foundation
Children who need help from youth care on average have to wait 10 months to get it, foundation Het Vergeten Kind said to NOS. That is dangerously long for children with mental health problems and kids living in an unstable home, said the foundation that works for neglected and abused children.
"Existing problems worsen, the tension in the family rises, children drop out of school and become lonely," Het Vergeten Kind said to the broadcaster. To get an idea of how long kids have to wait for youth care help, the foundation spoke with 21 children and 120 social workers. It found that on average, children wait 44 weeks, or about ten months, for help to come.
Het Vergeten Kind sees multiple reasons for the long waiting times. The number of children with complex problems is increasing. Municipalities and care providers struggle with limited budget. And too much time is spent on administration, the foundation said.
The foundation suggested that municipalities keep more places free for children who need to be placed out of their homes. It used intensive care departments at hospitals as an example - more beds are kept ready than needed. The same should go for places of safety for kids in need, Het Vergeten Kind said. "Only then can children receive the help they need."