Large and medium-sized cities in the Netherlands will face a total budget shortage of around 500 million euros in the next four years, according to the G40, a network of the Netherlands' 40 largest municipalities. Cuts to public facilities are inevitable, Paul Depla, mayor of Breda and chairman of the G40, said to newspaper AD.
A decade after the biggest economic crisis since the 1930s hit the Netherlands, most Dutch have recovered and are satisfied with their lives. But that does not apply to a group of around 400 thousand people who are still struggling, social and cultural planning office SCP said in its report The social state of the Netherlands. The SCP looked at the state of the Netherlands in the period 2008 to 2018, NOS reports.
A large part of the 30 thousand youth care workers in the Netherlands are striking on Monday, for the first time in Dutch history. They demand that the government provide solutions for problems caused by budget cuts and decentralization in the past years. Staff shortages lead to heavy workloads and waiting lists for children who need help, NU.nl reports.
Children in closed youth care institutions are still too often placed in solitary confinement, either in an isolation room or in their own room, according to the Healthcare and Youth Inspectorate. Closed youth care institutions agreed with the Ministry of Health to stop using solitary confinement by 2022, but the Inspectorate worries that they won't meet that deadline, the Volkskrant reports.
A 41-year-old woman from Nijkerk and her 39-year-old husband disappeared from their home in Blerick in Limburg last week Monday. Their four children, aged 17, 15, 12 and 9, were taken in by the Child Protection Board. Missing couple Andrea and Marcel suffer from a serious form of religious insanity and have been preparing for the "end of the world" for some time", Marcel's sister said to De Limburger.
The police and Andrea's sister confirmed the disappearance, according to the newspaper.
A 4-year-old boy was separated from his parents for several hours on Saturday, without anyone reporting him missing. He was found cycling by himself in Amsterdam. The police finally managed to track down the child's family when they took him for a ride and he recognized someone on the street, Het Parool reports.
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.
Of the around 1 thousand reports about sexual, physical and psychological abuse in youth care, only six may result in criminal prosecution. The rest of the cases are time-barred, newspaper Trouw reports based on data requested from the Public Prosecution Service.
A victim of violence and sexual abuse in youth care is suing the Dutch state for acting unlawfully in her request for recognition and compensation. The now 68-year-old Jeannette de Geus is also suing Youth Protection for negligence, NOS reports.
This year the Dutch government is allocating extra money for Defense, climate measures, youth care and education, according to the Spring Memorandum that Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance sent to parliament. The extra money allocated to Defense is far too little, American ambassador Peter Hoekstra said to the Volkskrant.
The government will push a total of 920 million euros extra into youth care over the next four years, is stated the Spring Memorandum that will be presented later his month, sources in The Hague told newspaper AD.
This year the Dutch municipalities will receive an extra 350 million euros for youth care, followed by 190 million euros per year in the next three years. The government hopes that municipalities will be able to eliminate the deficits they have with this extra money.
Dutch municipalities are forced to make drastic budget cuts in order to cope with additional care tasks that now fall under their responsibility, the Volkskrant reports based on its own research. The shortages are so great that some municipalities are even considering closing libraries or reducing road maintenance, according to the newspaper.
A total of 428 thousand Dutch children and young people up to the age of 23 were assisted by youth care in some way last year. That is nearly 1 in 10 of all Dutch aged 23 and younger. In 2017 youth care assisted 420 thousand kids and young people, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday based on provisional figures.
The problems in youth aid, youth protection, youth mental health care, and appropriate educate are becoming bigger and bigger. As a result, vulnerable children often do not get the help they need, Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer said in a letter to Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health, Welfare and Sports, RTL Nieuws reports.
A couple in Rotterdam left their toddler and baby home alone on Wednesday night to go to the movies. The situation was discovered when the little girl called the police, the officer who answered the call wrote on Facebook.
"My phone rings, it is an [emergency number] 112 report. I start with 'Good evening police...' but before I could finish speaking I hear a child's voice asking: 'Where's mommy?'", the officer wrote. "I don't know where mommy is." The girl on the line sounds no older than 3 or 4 and there's a baby crying in the background.
Youth care will soon approach parents who refuse to vaccinate their children to explain to them exactly why vaccination is important. In this way State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health wants to address the decreasing vaccination rate more actively, the Volkskrant reports.
A tenth of Dutch children are dissatisfied with their own lives and give their lives a failing score of 3.8, according to a study by Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer. The difference between happy children and unhappy children in the Netherlands is also growing, she said on Tuesday - the International Day for the Rights of the Child, NU.nl reports.
Kalverboer analyzed nearly a thousand questionnaires filled out by children and spoke to a number of children in various living situations, from top young athletes to kids living on the street.
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.
Among other things, the broadcaster spoke to five former residents of girls' boarding house Maria Regina in Stevensbeek, Noord-Brabant. In the 70s they were given drugs like Valium and Seresta. According to the De Winter Committee, which is investigating violence in youth care, this was also common practice in other children's homes.
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.
In cooperation with the Public Prosecutor and Youth Care, the police are working with the local authorities to contact the family.