First two children taken from parents during child benefits scandal return home
Two kids who got placed out of their parents' homes in the childcare allowance scandal have returned to their parents under the supervision of the Support Team established at parliament’s insistence. The Support Team helped with a breakthrough in a 12-year-old boy’s case. And a 16-year-old was already in the process of returning home when the team stepped in, the Volkskrant reports.
Statistics Netherlands (CBS) calculated that at least 1,675 children of parents victimized by the Tax Authority in the benefits scandal had been removed from their homes. So far, 140 parents have turned to the support team for help. Most of them are single mothers.
“We expect more children to go home,” Nicoline den Ouden of the Support Team said to the newspaper. Though she added that not all of them will be able to. Some have been separated from their parents for too long. The reunification process can also be lengthy, so some older kids may age out of the system.
The counselors on the support team act as a bridge between parents and youth protectors. “They don’t always understand each other well in such a complicated situation surrounding a child’s safety,” Den Ouden said. “It has become clear that our process counselors can get things moving, for example, by arranging practical matters for the parents.”
In addition to the two kids returned home, the Support Team helped reestablish or increase contact between parents and children in several other cases. Youth protection is also reviewing a number of other files.
The Support Team also received requests for help from parents unaffected by the childcare allowance scandal. But the Team can’t help them reconnect with their children. Den Ouden, therefore, thinks it a good idea if the government sets up such support for every parent in contact with youth protection.