Crisis approach to protecting children through a youth protection measure | news item

news item | 2022-09-13 | 13:30

The government is failing in its duty to protect children at risk. The Health and Youth Welfare Inspectorate and the Justice and Security Inspectorate have urged Minister Weerwind (Legal Protection) and Foreign Minister Van Ooijen (VWS) to immediately start a crisis approach to the youth protection chain. Inspection bodies hold ministers accountable for their responsibility for the youth protection system.

As early as 2019, the inspection bodies proved that the Dutch government is not adequately responsible for children whose development is seriously threatened. Certified organizations (GIs) that fulfill this responsibility on behalf of the government cannot fulfill this responsibility. Inspection bodies have also repeatedly found that court decisions aimed at protecting children were not implemented by default.

In May 2022, inspections again concluded that the youth protection chain did not meet the minimum quality requirements stipulated by law. Children undergoing this procedure still do not receive the necessary protection and assistance in a timely manner as a result of the ongoing problems in the youth protection chain.

The youth protection chain is collapsing

In recent months, the inspection bodies have held talks with the Safe House, local teams, the Child Protection Board, accredited institutions, specialized youth welfare, the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) and relevant ministries. Inspectors conclude from this that a broadly supported approach to improving youth protection cannot be expected in the short term.

Even children who have been imposed by court-imposed youth protection measures do not receive the protection and assistance they need from the government in a timely manner. These are very vulnerable children in a dependent situation. They must be able to count on the protection that the government must provide.

Scan options exhausted

Despite the efforts of the youth protectors and stakeholders and the supervision of the inspectors, the situation in the youth protection chain is worse than ever.

Inspection departments no longer have the ability to enforce order and thus promote improvement in the short term. “We have pushed the limits of our supervision; we have written to municipalities and youth protection districts about their responsibility to protect young people and help children with measures. We have also done stricter supervision in areas where juveniles under a measure have been waiting for too long for proper help. With our supervision, we can Putting the problems arising from organizing the youth protection chain on the agenda, but we cannot solve them. It is the responsibility of the municipalities to ensure adequate supplies are in place to protect youth and help young people. The Minister and the Secretary of State are responsible for order, and crisis response is now essential,” says Chief Inspector Angela Van Der Putin (Health and Youth Inspectorate) and Hans Faber (Justice and Security Inspectorate).

As for supervision, this means that the inspection bodies continue to monitor what the institutions themselves can do and improve in their institution to protect children as much as possible. Inspection departments will not take enforcement action if the causes of the identified problems are beyond the influence of the enterprises, for example in case of insufficient supply of assistance.

The Inspectorate will continue to monitor and identify developments in the field of youth protection.

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