Many municipalities in the Netherlands aren't good at dealing with citizen complaints about healthcare, youth support and guidance to work, according to the National Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is handing the results of an investigation in this field to the Home Affairs Minister today.
A 9-year-old child threatened store personnel in Eindhoven with a knife after he was caught shoplifting. The store employees stopped the boy before he could leave the Action store and tried to take him to the office. He pulled a knife and started waving it about, ANP reports.
The employees managed to take the knife from the boy. The 9-year-old grabbed a pen and again tried to stab the employees. When the employees took the pen from him, he started screaming.
Child protection caregivers increasingly face aggression and intimidation from parents of families they work with. In some cases the attacks get so severe that the caregivers find that they can no longer do their jobs, NOS reports.
A total of 21 thousand children in the Netherlands are under the supervision of child protection agencies. Two thirds of these kids were taken from their homes and laced in care. Child protection workers are regularly harassed by parents who are angry about their involvement in their lives.
A massive 371 of the 393 municipalities in the Netherlands still hae money left in the budget they received from the state for home care and youth care last year, officials newspaper Binnenlands Bestuur reports based on its own research.
According to the newspaper, a number of municipalities including Oosterhout, Heerenveen and Dongeradeel did not spend about 30 percent of their care budget. In euros, Breda had the most money left - about 38 million euros of the 160 million euros that the government put into the municipal fund.
More children and young people were admitted to secure youth institutions in the Netherlands this year, according to Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer based on her own research. She also found an increase in the number of emergency admissions, which mostly involve advanced problems, NOS reports.
There was a significant increase in the number of complaints regarding youth care in the Netherlands during the first half of this year, according to the advice and complaint office for youth care AKJ. In the first half of 2016 there were 6,465 complaints, compared to a total of 7,404 throughout all of 2015
GroenLinks parliamentarian Naima Azough was appointed the Netherlands' new special rapporteur on religious extremism. Up until the end of the year, her job will be to identify what works and what doesn't in the fight against radicalization and extremism in the Netherlands
The Dutch Healthcare Inspectorate received a total of 41 reports of patients or their relatives signing non-disclosure contracts with healthcare professionals. Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health called on the public to report such contracts, which are not illegal but considered "highly undesirable"
The government is launching a full investigation into physical abuse of children who were removed from their homes by child welfare. The investigation, launched based on the advice of the De Winter committee, will span from 1945 until present.
More than 356 thousand kids received some form of help from child welfare last year. That is 10 percent of all kids in the Netherlands, according to Statistics Netherlands on Friday. This help ranged from counseling for kids with mental health problems to educational guidance for kids with learning disabilities.
The reorganization of child welfare and youth care had no positive effects. On the contrary, waiting lists get longer and longer and there is less staff, while the number of violence reports increase. It regularly happens that a child ends up on a waiting list and sometimes have to wait months for help, while the abuse continues, according to the Youth Care Inspectorate
The father of 8-year-old Sharleyne Remouchamps is holding the municipality of Hoogeveen accountable for his daughter's death. He feels the city is guilty of negligence because the youth services failed to intervene in his daughter's case, despite several signals that this was necessary. Experts believe he has a very strong case, television program Zembla reports.
Youth care in the Netherlands is seriously inadequate since the municipalities took over responsibility for it on January 1st last year, according to Monitor Transition Youth's annual report for 2015. The report describes the route to youth care as "long, unclear and unpleasant"
The access to and quality of youth healthcare is being threatened because municipalities are increasingly forced to focus on costs and savings, instead of the interests of the child, according to Children's Ombudsman Marc Dullaert. "When determining what treatment a child gets, his individual interests should come first, and not the financial or organizational interest of the municipality or institution. That currently does not seem to be the case."
A total of 233 thousand young people received youth care, youth protection or juvenile rehabilitation in the first quarter of this year. With five months left in the year, some municipalities' youth care budget is already running out.
Crisis centers for children with serious behavioral problems, such as suicidal tendencies or psychosis, are over crowded and these kids often have to wait too long for the much needed help.
The number of reports of sexual abuse in youth care facilities increased by 19 percent in 2014. Last year 70 cases of sexual abuse were reported, compared to 59 in 2013.
Swift measures should be taken to force vulnerable young people to keep receiving care after they turn 18 years old. This is according to the Children's Ombudsman, Marc Dullaert, who did an investigation into the continuing care for children after they turned 18.
The Netherlands often violates the rights of children, with especially vulnerable children often falling victim of child rights violations. This is the conclusion of child rights organization UNICEF Nederland and Defense for Children in their Annual Report Children's Rights 2015.
According to Children's Ombudsman Marc Dullaert, the help for children has become a "big testing ground" since it became the task of the municipalities on January 1st. Access to youth care is not organized well enough and he fears that children who need help is falling by the wayside. "Experimenting is part of a new system, but experimenting with vulnerable children is unacceptable", Dullaert said.
The inspectorates of Youth Care (Jeugdzorg) and the Ministry of Security and Justice has put the Youth Welfare Office Noord-Brabant under increased supervision, the Inspectorate Safety and Justice announced on its website.
The Cabinet is working together with the United Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) and healthcare providers to find solutions to make sure that vulnerable children aren't left without specialized childcare next year, the NOS report.
Many municipalities in The Netherlands do not seem ready to take over youth care, or child welfare, tasks from the government next year, under the new municipal tasks reorganization. According to a letter to Parliament from State Secretaries Martin van Rijn (Health, Welfare and Sport) and Fred Teeven (Security and Justice), the Cabinet will examine these municipalities.
Union Abvakabo FNV and employers' organization Jeugdzorg Nederland say that there are thousands of youth care co-workers' jobs at stake now that the Cabinet is cutting almost €500 million from youth care. They plead for a job pool for youth care.