As a young girl, Kim Feenstra experienced first-hand what foster placement does to a child. According to the model, the youth welfare system is shaky on all sides and she has now made it her mission to change that. Her documentary Duties: Sons of the State She shows the painful side of youth welfare and in this way tries to push the topic toward the political agenda. “I will not stop, I will fight.”
Partly because of the scandal surrounding the benefit issue, government organizations such as Youth Welfare have recently come under a magnifying glass. For example, comedian Peter Pannekoek described the out-of-home situations surrounding this welfare case as “state kidnappings” and Jojanneke van den Berge’s Jojanneke and youth welfare tapes discussed what happens to “state” children. Charlotte Bowman, who once demonstrated in the Ministry building against the mental health care system, stressed at the time that she faltered in youth care.
Kim Finstra is making a documentary on youth welfare
And now there is Finstra which owes, in its own way, the place of youth welfare in the Netherlands. Because of her troubled childhood, she came into contact with youth authorities when she was an 8-year-old girl. I made the documentary Duties: Sons of the State About that, this too subway And we spoke to Feenstra about her motives. “It’s been a problem that’s been going on for years and getting more and more problematic.”
Feenstra chose to tackle this matter without a broadcaster or transmitter and released the film via an online platform. “I wanted to show the gravity of the situation and that includes the harsh images,” she says.
Kim Finstra: It can happen to anyone
in Tasks The viewer sees, among other things, parents who have had to deal with out-of-home placements for their children, children telling their story about youth care time, and lawyers and colleagues speaking out about the system. This leaves you feeling very sad after the movie. Jamie Faber, the former partner of singer Dean Saunders, also appears in the film. She recounts how appalling it was to put her son in custody, which later turned out to be unjustified.
According to Finstra, many people think you’ll have to deal with youth care if you “live three stories behind you with massive debts and problems.” But The documentary features people from different social classes. “From KLM pilots to detectives. It can happen to anyone,” said the documentary maker.
Perhaps the most intense part of the film was the family of Marie Karen Kruzinga, who as a teenage mother had to give up three children to take care of young people. Abuse, assault and even the suicide of one of her daughters followed. Mary Karen and her son and daughter talk about misbehavior from that time and grief after the death of the eldest child.
According to Finstra, the main characters in the film are happy that they were able to share their story. “They did not dare for a long time, there is a lot of shame.” And although the model agrees that there is a lot of what is currently happening in our country, this problem should, according to her „It does not disappear to the bottom of the pile. It is accompanied by misery, sadness, depression and even death. “It can no longer be that way,” says Finstra.
Youth Care as a “Sick” System
In the Netherlands, the number of placements outside the home is much higher than in other countries. And the maze of rules and protocols makes it difficult for aid workers and even judges. With so many good adoptive parents, institutions, parents of family, and youth care workers among them, many interviewees emphasized. For example, FNV director Maaike van den Aar says youth care workers have long known that “the system is sick”. According to Finstra, placements outside the home should be done by experts from the field. Neither the government nor the municipality should interfere with this. This is spent on professionals with the ability to empathize. They are investigating what is needed for each family.”
Feenstra has received many reactions for her documentary. “Full of indignation, anger and sadness,” she explains. It also reported the reactions of employees of youth welfare and former managers of institutions. “He looks at them with contempt. There are rotten apples, but most people do this work with their hearts.”
Financial interests in youth welfare
But Feenstra also addresses “questionable” money flows in her film. “The intertwining of money, politics and the healthcare market” makes the system problematic, according to councilman Loudy Nijhof. She asserts in the documentary that there were and still are many interests in this sector. Finstra: Fire letters and reports have been sent and reported for years. It turns out that there is a financial game behind the system.”
Van den Ar explains later in the film that youth welfare institutions are paid for each occupied bed, and are funded by 355 municipalities. Then you as an organization have to make sure that your bed sleeps in order to exist. While ideally we don’t want to take the kids out of the house.” Which is why, according to Finstra “An incentive to reunite parents and children”.
Kim Vistra wants to reform the system
Van den Ar believes that the government should take responsibility for the dire situation. “Who should move? This is the closet. The problem is so big that you can say, ‘Take a break and start over.’ Which Finstra agrees, too:”Youth Welfare must restore the purpose for which it was established. This helps children and families.”
bidder Duties: Sons of the State Donate to watch the movie. With these donations, Feenstra creates a foundation and a team of lawyers and legal professionals. We try to help parents with unjust issues. to take back their child.” With her documentary, Feenstra not only wanted to put the problem on the table, but also be part of the solution. “People who watch the documentary are also part of the solution through their donation.” And what is Feenstra’s ultimate goal? The whole system is upside down. I won’t stop, I will fight.”
subway I also contacted the Netherlands Youth Institute to ask if they had seen the documentary and how they view the case. Their spokesperson said they are equally happy to see the changes in the current youth welfare system. To this end, the Knowledge Center developed nine recommendations for redesigning the system.
You can watch the documentary Taken: Children of the State here
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