May 12 2022 – 07:55
|Unacceptable: “I don’t even know where I’m going to live next week.”|
|Tomorrow (May 12) and next week (May 18) the House of Representatives will discuss youth care and placement outside the home. In 2021, nearly 44,000 children did not live with their parents, and were turned away from their homes. After placement outside the home, children often end up in a care circle of ongoing removals. New research by Het Vergeten Kind among 118 children (7-21 years old) in residential youth care shows that three quarters of children move four times on average. A third of them heard this only a day before leaving. Relocations have a significant impact on children’s well-being and future prospects.|
Of the 118 children surveyed, the study by Het Vergeten Kind showed that 75% move on average four times. With all its consequences. For example, research shows that:
- dealing with Children Lots of uncertainty and instability† they have There are no particular future prospects†
- Children were transported in Age 15 years Already old four the time They moved. at least 47% them inside year It’s time to wait another step.
- Sun 63% Of the children who were transferred week I already knew they had to move on. the third I just heard thisone dayorUntil a few hours ago †
- 42% I don’t know where they will live in a year.
blurry future perspective
As long as children keep moving and have no stable place, they will not be able to look to their future with confidence. It prevents them from building a “normal” life in their current place: starting education, registering in a (sports) association or doing side business in the neighborhood. The lives of these children are literally on hold. “I don’t even know where I’m going to live next week. I’d love to be able to look forward. It’s not going to work now.” Says to Sam (18 years old, moved three times).
Children’s well-being is deteriorating
Relocations often come on suddenly and cause unrest. Many children find it difficult to get used to and adjust to the work style and rules in the new place. Moving forward will only make the children’s problems (psychological and behavioral) worse. In fact, it has a negative effect on their well-being. Children are afraid, have panic attacks, or become angry or aggressive more easily. Some children become insecure about moving on and find it difficult to trust people. “I felt lonely and abandoned”, Dunya (19 years, moved seven times) says. Other kids get used – painfully enough – to relocations.
What should be done differently?
Constantly transporting children is not acceptable†says Margot Ende-van den Broek (director of The Forgotten Child). “If we do it right the first time, the kids will benefit for the rest of their lives.” Some initiatives succeed in preventing deportation by organizing appropriate care where the child lives. “Unfortunately, there are still very few children who take notice.”
Het Vergeten Kind argues in favor of national monitoring of deportations in order to recognize the extent of the problem and work specifically on improvements. In addition, the foundation wants municipalities to pay a fixed amount for residential care, rather than for every bed he sleeps in. This way, care is always available. In addition, the child’s life and treatment should be separated so that the place of residence is permanent, regardless of the treatment process. Finally, residential care should be regulated as in ‘normal life’, as children grow towards independence.
Attention was drawn to the research on the latest episode of EO’s “Jojanneke and the Youth Welfare Tapes” on May 12, NPO 3.
Source: The Forgotten Child Foundation * Research by the Forgotten Child Foundation, April 2022