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Investigations conducted by child protection bodies have been 'substandard for some time'

Investigations conducted by several Dutch child protection bodies within family situations are inadequate. Due to lack of knowledge, time and money, these investigations are not carried out properly, with major consequences for the families involved.

According to Mariëlle Bruning, Professor of Children and the Law, these investigations have been substandard for some time 'and we’re aware of that. There have been several inspectorate investigations in recent years confirming it', she says in Dutch news programme EenVandaag.

The factual investigation is not carried out, or not well enough – to the extent that lawyers advise families not to cooperate with these investigations, reports EenVandaag. Bruning gives an example where fact-finding could improve: 'If a parent says the other person has a mental disorder, you can just take a note of that, or you can substantiate it with a report that makes that clear. Often, it also has to do with the fact that the professionals sometimes find it difficult to be transparent and to actually be clear about the situation.'

The factual substantiation provided by investigators is often insufficient due to lack of knowledge and time. Bruning: 'That’s not to say that the decisions resulting from these reports are wrong, though better reports can help to establish a constructive counselling relationship for later on.'

Criticism of the investigations conducted by child protection bodies has been voiced for many years. As a result, an action plan was drawn up, but there was a lack of capacity to implement it. Bruning responds: 'You see that many assignments were given to an organisation at a time in recent years when those organisations were actually already under great pressure and were having a very hard time, so they could not actually carry this out.'

Find out more?

Read the full article (in Dutch) on the website of EenVandaag.

Photo by Tina Floersch via Unsplash

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