Children were not taken out of the house because of one sign

Why were the children evicted from the benefit case not returned to their parents? Comedian Peter Pannecock recently mentioned it on a broadcast This was the news Surprisingly, the “state kidnappings” have yet to be resolved. There was also discontent in the House of Representatives after announcing the opening of a national support center for affected parents this week. Where is the perseverance? Why not take faster and more action?

According to Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) figures, at least 1,115 children were expelled from families in serious trouble because the Tax and Customs Administration classified them as fraudsters. It is not clear whether their sudden debts played a role in this – they often had to pay off thousands of euros in one fell swoop – although experts have spoken of a “strong overrepresentation”.

What is certain: many children did not return. As harsh as it is, says driver Arina Kreithof of Rotterdam-Regenmond Youth Protection (JBRR) and Youth Welfare in the Netherlands, there is no simple solution. This practice is complex. “The image that children were removed from their parents simply because there was a check mark in the IRS is simply incorrect.”

In recent months, a trial has been conducted in Rotterdam to find and help affected families wherever possible. JBRR, the body called when a child is placed under the supervision of a judge, works with the municipality. They are rescanning the files.

Do you understand the anger over evictions?

“Of course. What these parents went through was incredibly intense and horrific. Not only debt and its impact, but also how we dealt with it as a society. The reason we started working in Rotterdam is because as a youth protection we feel a shared responsibility to help. No matter how complex it is in practice. “.

How many children are involved in the Rotterdam-Regenmond area?

“Of the 1,115 children named by CBS, 230 live in Regenmond. But that number requires a nuance: it is the sum of the years 2015-2020. At the end of 2020, according to CBS, there were still 420 children in The Netherlands are subject to a measure to protect young people who were residing elsewhere, 70 of them in our region.”

Are these children known to you?

“They are under the protection of young people, so they are under our organization. But we don’t know who they are specifically.”

why not?

“Fortunately, in the Netherlands, data is not only shared between the authorities. We at the Youth Protection know that one of the parents has debts, but we do not know why and to whom.

This also applies to the issue of allowances. We have done an inventory among our employees, but only when parents report themselves as victims, directly or through the municipality, do we know who they are. Right now, we know 10 families who were cheated on the allowances issue, and they have 27 children.”

What these parents went through was incredibly intense and horrific

What can you say about their situation?

“Because of traceability, I can’t be very specific about that. Anyway, the questions these families ask us or the municipality are very different. Sometimes it comes to very practical matters, for example a parent doesn’t have enough money to visit A child lives in three municipalities. Or they struggle with forms from the tax authorities. The common denominator is that almost all parents want to know exactly what happened. Why was my child taken out of the house?”

Also read the story of these deceived parents: First debts due to the issue of allowances, then pay the child out of the house

Are these families still suffering from financial problems?

I think this is a difficult question to answer. This makes it possible to trace their trace.”

Debt in and of itself should not be the reason for depositing the reservation. But financial problems often have a snowball effect. For example, I spoke to a mother who became depressed and a mother who became so nervous that she started hitting her child. How does JBRR handle this?

“This is exactly the question we ask ourselves. In fact, we know that debt can swell or cause other problems. Debt causes the same symptoms as excessive stress: you can no longer focus on the long-term. So we ask ourselves: How can we help parents better? Better in debt? Child protection is now the last link in a long chain. We only have options in youth care. So we advocate for more social cooperation: other forms of assistance, such as adult mental health care and housing, must become part of our work” .

But this does not benefit the affected parents who have lost their children.

“No, it doesn’t do them any good. Look, I understand the feelings, the need to hold back. But the hard part is: that protecting young people comes into the picture for the family only if the child’s development is seriously threatened. Such a family has already gone through many assistance programs Without success. Ultimately, the safety of the child is the most important, and the judge is the one to decide.”

The children in question were sometimes away from their parents for years. Is the fait accompli created here?

“It is our responsibility to protect children. Our legal duty. The actual situation is crucial, yet it is sad that it resulted in part from the actions of the government. This does not change the fact that we as a society should help these parents as much as possible. They need to have the support they deserve.”

You are looking at the files again. Is this with the intention of betting on the return?

“Our intention in this is broad. We intend to answer parents’ questions as often as possible, whether with others or not. To help them understand what happened and learn from it themselves. If there is a request for resettlement, we will help the parents follow the right path. But again: the judge is the one who Decide “.

Read also: Divorced, the unemployed and depression: the impact of the benefits issue on Rotterdam victims

Is this really the case?

“Not yet in our area.”

Have you talked to the parents yourself?

“No, although of course I know the stories. Everyone wants to talk to these fathers, and the whole world is falling on them. I think the mother-of-the-youth can do it better. We have teamed up with the young-custodians, but also with behavioral scientists and lawyers. People with knowledge and experience. But if there are any parents who need to speak to me, I am very willing to do so.”

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