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Mariëlle Bruning in Trouw: 'Placement in care is always harmful'

In Europe, the Netherlands is in middle position when it comes to the placement of children in care. The consequences of such a placement in care are often disastrous, says Mariëlle Bruning.

Mariëlle Bruning

It seems that we are not at the top in Europe when it comes to placement of children in foster care or residential youth institutions, says Bruning in Dutch newspaper Trouw in a supplement about SOS Kinderdorpen. 'But compared to other countries, we don’t hold back either. With respect to placement in care, this concerns placement via the juvenile courts and voluntary placement, although some parents experience “voluntary” as being forced. They feel they have to agree to placement in care, because otherwise the social workers will go to the Child Care and Protection Board and the juvenile court.'

For children who do not grow up living with their parents and are also separated from their siblings, the consequences are often disastrous says Bruning. 'I recently saw a case where a child had one hour’s contact each month with her mother. She doesn’t see her sister who lives at a different address. This is no exception. Unbelievable, because contact with family is the most important thing for children who are no longer living at home. That contact can be complicated and difficult to organise. But that’s no excuse not to do it – otherwise the relationship will eventually become weaker and the chances of returning home decrease further.’

The article on placement of children in care was published in Dutch newspaper Trouw in a supplement about SOS Kinderdorpen to mark International Family Day. The article is available here (in Dutch).

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