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Mariëlle Bruning and colleagues on cry for help concerning secure residential youth care

Practice and science show that secure residential youth care in the Netherlands should no longer be used as a catch-all solution. This is the conclusion of several professionals including Professor of Child Law Mariëlle Bruning in Dutch newspaper NRC.

'22-year-old Jason, the main person in the award-winning documentary Jason, is on a mission. That mission is to stop secure residential youth care, because in his case the impact it had on him was just as traumatic as what he had experienced up to that point’, the experts write in the NRC opinion piece. 'Together with Stichting The Forgotten Child, he has collected more than 110,000 signatures. The Dutch House of Representatives has adopted a motion and discussed follow-up steps on Monday 7 February. Jason’s experiences have been backed up by scientific insights for years. But, even before the introduction of secure residential youth care, little attention has been paid to these insights.  

'A large group of young people are placed in secure care because of waiting lists and the lack of appropriate help. Jason, who was suicidal because of experiences of sexual abuse and domestic violence, wanted help in the form of therapy, but to his astonishment he ended up in a setting similar to prison. Investigations show that juvenile courts often opt for secure residential youth care because there are no alternatives and remaining at home is not an option.'

Read the full article (in Dutch) in NRC.

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