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Mariëlle Bruning: ‘Give priority in youth care to children with a child protection order'

‘I need the municipalities to solve the problems in youth protection’, said Franc Weerwind, Minister of Legal Protection, recently in the Dutch House of Representatives. But according to Mariëlle Bruning, Professor of Children and the Law, the government must stop pointing to other parties and take the lead in solving the current problems. ‘Municipalities aren’t to blame, they’re completely stuck.’

Mariëlle Bruning
Mariëlle Bruning

For years, professional groups, academics and inspectorates have been 'sounding the alarm' about the situation in youth protection. However, the recent warnings aimed at the government in The Hague are unprecedentedly alarming. The quality of the current youth protection system is so substandard, according to the recently published Eindevaluatie Wet herziening kinderbeschermingsmaatregelen (Final Evaluation of the Child Protection Measures Review Act), that government intervention in families is actually no longer legitimate.

'Things have never gone very well in youth protection [in the Netherlands],' says Mariëlle Bruning, lead researcher of this evaluation . 'Also, there was always too little money. But the situation in the last 30 years has never been as bad as it is now.’

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