Mariëlle Bruning in the media on fact sheet about placement in care
It is not possible for juvenile courts to properly assess whether it is necessary to place a child in care. This is evident from a fact sheet that has been prepared by legal scholars from Leiden University, commissioned by the Dutch House of Representatives and others.
According to the factsheet (in Dutch), juvenile courts are at a great distance from the decision-making process concerning the placement of children in care. The Child Protection Board or a youth protection organisation makes the request and also decides on the type of out-of-home placement.
'A judge can’t do that', says Processor of Children and the Law Mariëlle Bruning, one of the legal scholars who was involved in producing the fact sheet. 'They wait for the requests and are not allowed to say anything about the implementation or, for example, about how much contact should be maintained between parents and child, or whether siblings should be placed together. That is all up to the implementing organisation.’
The publication of the fact sheet was front page news in Dutch newspaper Trouw and the NOS also reported on it. 'Parents and minors are in a relatively weak position when it comes to procedures involving placement in care’, says Bruning (in Dutch) on the website of NOS and on NPO Radio 1 News. 'As a result, children can be placed in care for a long time or even permanently, and that is never the intention.'
The substantiation for placing a child in care must be better. And what needs to happen next is putting all our efforts into strengthening the family as quickly as possible. That's not happening enough at the moment. We know that most children suffer greatly from being placed in care and always want to return home.