Children under guardianship are not sufficiently involved in the decisions made about them, Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer wrote in a letter to institutions and the responsible ministers on Thursday. According to Kalverboer, the child protectors want the best for these children, but much can be improved in the decision making process around these kids, NU.nl reports.
An 11-year-old boy was caught driving a sports car in Krimpen aan den IJssel during the early hours of Thursday morning. Two police officers noticed the car when they saw it driving over two crossings in "fits and starts", ANP reports.
When the driver noticed the police car behind it, he tried to switch seats with the passenger - while the car was still moving - but couldn't manage it. When the car came to a stop, the police found an 11-year-old behind the wheel.
Children who were sexually abused too often end up in the locked sections of youth care institutions, according to National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence Against Children Herman Bolhaar in a new report. Over one in 10 girls who are receiving help after sexual abuse, are in a locked institution, he said, NOS reports.
Children in Dutch children's homes were forced for years to take sedatives and antidepressants in the 1970s, RTL Nieuws reports based on its own research.
The number of children in locked youth care institutions in the Netherlands increased by 8 percent to a record number of 2,710 last year. Experts express great concerns about this in a report by UNICEF and Defense For Children. There is a lot wrong with caring for vulnerable children in the Netherlands, the experts said, RTL Nieuws reports.
Children and young people whose parents have problems want quicker action when things go wrong at home, according to the Netherlands Ombudsman for Children Margrite Kalverboer. The children also want aid providers to include them when it is decided what aid is needed, she said, ANP reports.
Deimante Zasytyte, a 5-year-old girl who was taken from her foster family in Maastricht by her biological mother on Sunday, was found. According to the police, she is safe.
The police have information that the girl and her mother are with family in Lithuania. There are no indications that the girl is in any danger, the police said.
Two boys with behavioral problems managed to slip away during school hours to go swimming, because of insufficient supervision by the staff of a school and a youth care institution in Zetten in Gelderland, three inspectorates concluded after investigation. As a result, one of the boys drowned in the Rhine river in May last year, NOS reports.
The number of kids in the Netherlands receiving treatment or aid from youth care increased significantly over the past two years. In 2015, when Dutch municipalities took over the responsibility of youth care, there were 349 thousand kids in youth care, last year there were 392,500, according to figures from Statistics Netherlands, RTL Nieuws reports.
Ministers Hugo de Jonge of Public Health and Sander Dekker of Medical Care presented an action plan to improve youth care in the Netherlands. "The interests of the child are still too often not the first priority", the Ministers said, NOS reports.
Victims of child abuse while in youth care faced violence for an average of 7.5 years, according to a report by investigative committee Violence in Youth Care. More than half of the victims did not report the abuse, because the possibility of doing so did not exist, or because they were scared, RTL Nieuws reports.
Limburg mental health institution Mondriaan will stop treatment for a number of children in the coming weeks, director Juliette van Eerd said to NRC. Due to municipal budget cuts, the institution has to provide the same care with fewer and fewer people, and the situation is unsustainable, Van Eerd said.
An increasing number of children are in need of help from youth care, while half of Dutch municipalities have no more money left in their youth care budget, according to a study by broadcaster NOS and Binnenlands Bestuur among 228 municipalities.
Over three quarters of the municipalities now have waiting lists for youth care, half of the municipalities call these waiting times irresponsible. Three quarters say they've seen an increase in demand for youth care. And 87 percent don't think they'll be able to get by with the youth care budget for next year.
Young people who are ordered by the juvenile court to undergo therapy face waiting times of up to one year before their therapy can start, the Volkskrant reports based on its own research.
A 4-year-old boy was left home alone, crying on a balcony in Nijmegen for hours last week. A police officer rescued the boy by climbing onto the balcony from a neighbor's apartment. The officer found him "with tears on his face and large eyes", the Nijmegen police wrote on Facebook.
Two teenagers missing from Heerlen and Veldhoven since last week, were found safe in Kerkrade on Thursday night. Mikey (15) and Christel (13) are both in good health, the police said in a statement.
A local residents noticed the two teenagers sitting on a bench on Meuserstraat around 8:50 p.m. She suspected that they may be the two missing kids and called the police.
An 11-year-old boy from Steyl committed suicide on Sunday. Primary school Passepartout in Tegelen reported concerns for the boy's wellbeing and living environment with the municipality of Venlo several times, but the municipality is unable to say what was done about these reports, Brabants Dagblad reports.
The boy attended primary school Cocon last year, which now forms part of primary school Passepartout. He was found dead in his parental home on Gieterijstraat in Steyl on Sunday. The police concluded that the boy committed suicide.
Scientists and psychologists in the Netherlands are calling for kids in youth care to be examined for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a new standard. It is becoming increasingly clear that trauma plays an important part in behavioral problems, and this can be prevented by PTSD screening and treatment, they said to the Volkskrant. Treatments of less than four hours were shown to have a significant impact, meaning the brief periods of consultation could also be especially cost effective.
The number of youth care institutions in the Netherlands is growing explosively. In 2014 the country counted 120 major institutions, including things like foster homes and group homes for young people, now there are around 3 thousand, according to newspaper Trouw. The Youth Care Inspectorate is struggling to keep up.
The Netherlands fell in the KidsRights Index for the second year in a row. Last year the Netherlands dropped from 2nd place to 13th place, and this year the country dropped another two spots to 15th place. Less prosperous countries like Thailand and Tunisia are now ahead of the Netherlands in the Children's Rights Rankings, NOS reports.
Twelve year old David from Noord-Holland does not have to undergo chemotherapy treatment for his brain tumor if he does not want to, the court in Alkmaar ruled on Friday. David's father turned to court in an effort to force his son to get treatment. With chemotherapy, the boy has 80 percent chance of survival, without his chances are 50 percent, the Telegraaf reports.
Forensic pathologist Frank van de Goot has doubts about the suicide of 14-year-old Luciano Ligthart in a closed youth care institution in Deelen last year. After investigating the boy's death, Van der Goot concluded that he either does not have all the information, or that suicide is unlikely, the Gelderlander reports.
Almost 11 percent of children in the Netherlands were receiving treatment from youth support last year, Statistics Netherlands announced on Friday. Youth support helps and treats kids below the age of 18 who have psychological problems, mental disorders or educational problems.