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.
Next year, an extra €300 million will be made available for long-term care, the Telegraaf reports. After that, extra the budget will decrease over the years to about €200 million.
Doctors fear they will no longer be able to refer youth to necessary specialists, once the cities take over the budget for youth care next year. At the same time the cities take control of youth care, the available budget is cut with 15 percent.
Almost half the municipalities doubt they will be able to adequately help youth in the youth care system with the funds made available by the government, reveals a survey from 'de Volkskrant' among 158 of the 400 municipalities. One fifth states they will not be able to accomplish the task.
The father of Ruben (9) and Julian (7) has prepared the murder of his sons and his own suicide, in detail. He started with the preparation when Youth Care announced that his visitation rights with his children would be retrenched dramatically, reported the AD on Thursday.
The aid failed to help the family, whose missing sons Julian and Ruben were found dead on Sunday. Since 2009 the family was known at Youth Care and especially the mother tried to raise the alarm. She feared for the welfare of her sons. This is shown from a reconstruction by NRC Handelsblad.