Cabinet puts the brakes on out-of-home placements for children
Within six weeks, the Cabinet will come up with an approach to prevent out-of-home placements for children as much as possible. Because of a lack of appropriate help and waiting lists for care, Minister Franc Weerwind (Legal Protection) has adopted a motion by ChristenUnie, which was signed by three other coalition parties.
The parties –– which, besides ChristenUnie, included VVD, D66 and CDA –– called for for viable alternatives to out-of-home placement when possible, such as voluntary placement of one of the parents. This is because children are often worse off after being placed out-of-home than at home, said Don Ceder of ChristenUnie in a parliamentary debate about pressing problems in youth protection. That is why a crisis approach is needed "immediately."
Children's home situations must therefore be adjusted to make it safe for them to continue living at home, according to the motion. This should reduce the number of out-of-home placements. Besides placing a parent elsewhere, relevant parties should also look into how to create a better environment for children and families, according to the parties. ChristenUnie wants to keep this approach until the current crisis is over, while the other coalition parties want to stick to it until youth protectors have a lower workload and waiting lists are significantly reduced.
Opposition parties have submitted a large number of motions to resolve the problems more quickly. The PvdA wants the Cabinet to release more money than it currently is. The Cabinet wants to release 40 million euros over the next four years and is counting on municipalities to release the same amount. GroenLinks, PvdA, SP and BIJ1 have called on Weerwind and State Secretary Maarten van Ooijen (Youth Care) to come up with a crisis approach within a month with concrete measures to solve the acute problems.
Wybren van Haga (Haga Group) has submitted a motion of no confidence against Minister Weerwind because, according to him, successive Cabinets have made a mess of youth protection. He also wants a parliamentary inquiry.
All the above-mentioned motions of the opposition have been advised against by Weerwind. The Tweede Kamer will vote on all motions on Sept. 27.
Reporting by ANP