‘Going home isn’t always the best option,’ children’s ombudsman says about children of deserving parents who have been evicted

The child’s best interest should come first, even if it means they can’t go home yet. This is what children’s ombudsman Calverbour thinks about children of beneficiary parents who have been evicted from their homes. “How awful that can be for parents at times.”

It’s horrible for all the parents of the benefit case who have lost their children, says Margaret Calverbur, a children’s ombudsman. But the best interests of the child are always paramount. “This means that children cannot always go home.”

Suddenly in a difficult situation

The Netherlands Statistics Authority estimates that between 2015 and 2020, 1,115 children were removed from their parents’ benefit case from their homes. “The defining characteristic of these parents is that they end up in a difficult situation from moment to moment. They suddenly had to pay a lot of money and then I got into trouble.”

“With this group, we don’t know if these problems really existed or if they were caused by this issue,” she explains. “But they’ve all dealt with it and it’s clearly causing stress.”

Huge impact on their lives

Calverbur says the parents and children in the benefit case were wronged, which has had a huge impact on their lives. “The impact on children is enormous.”

“They can no longer concentrate in school and no longer dare to take friends home because of the situation at home,” Calverbur explains. “They have parents who are no longer able to be good parents at that point.”

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Can the kids still come back?

Not all of the kids have gone home yet, which means some kids have been living elsewhere for years. The question is, can these kids still come back? “I think you should ask the kids themselves,” Calverbur says.

“But I think many children if they live somewhere else for years, they go to school there, have friends and maybe start living independently within a few years. What is the child’s importance in this?” , she asks herself. . “But if the child wanted it and the parents wanted it too and it was possible, then the child should definitely be able to come back.”

Big Loser Parents

It is clear to Calverbur that parents are the biggest losers. “But that doesn’t mean you have to bring back the children to make up for the loss of the parents.”

“If that’s no longer possible, focus on parent-child communication, how can parents continue to play a role? Invest in building the connection, and make sure you create the bond so that it becomes a parent-child relationship again.”

Ensuring respect for children’s rights

Calverbur doesn’t think you can say that kids are always better off at home. “You have to look at what is best for each child. What the child wants, what the parents want, and find the best place. Most children will be better off at home, but for a select group of no, they are no better at home.”

“I am an ombudsman for children and I have to make sure that children’s rights are respected. The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that the best interests of the child are paramount. And that interest is that the child has a decent life and can develop well. How bad is that for parents, if that Elsewhere, you have to choose that.”

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No more benefit from doubt

In the Netherlands, an average of 20,000 children are taken out of their homes each year. “We’ve had quite a few major accidents where kids have died. They weren’t safe at home and because emergency workers were running late and giving parents the benefit of the doubt, things didn’t go well.”

Nowadays, things are different, as Calverbur sees: “Caregivers are becoming more careful. Parents no longer benefit from the suspicion, if a child is not safe, the parents will leave. What you see in families that deal with out-of-places in the home is that they” pile of problems. The situation becomes unsafe and that is why the child is taken out of the house.”

Giving is more important than care

As far as the children’s ombudsman is concerned, the problems that currently play a role in youth welfare are a major problem in placement outside the home. “We do not have proper places for children where they are well looked after. We have developed a system in which actions of giving are more important than giving children the care and treatment they need.”

“This applies to all children, and therefore also children in this tax issue. They have already been deceived by a system malfunction in the IRS and are therefore not receiving proper care.”

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Money for treatment and care

The Children’s Ombudsman advocates for the money that becomes available for youth care to be actually spent on youth care.

“From now on, we must make sure that the money available for youth care also ends up treating and nurturing the parents and children who demand it and does not flow into the system.”

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