Room: Reassessment from home placement (surcharge) within six months

Parents and children who are affected by an out-of-home placement in their families and are recognised victims of the surcharges scandal should be able to request a reassessment of this decision within six months. A motion by the SP and MP Omtzigt asking the cabinet to do so was adopted with the support of all parties in the House of Representatives.

The

reason for the motion is, among other things, the parliamentary debate last week about the relocations due to the childcare allowance scandal.

In recent years, 1,675 children of affected parents were housed elsewhere because youth welfare and the judge ruled that was the only way for them to grow up safely. Some of them live at home or have now turned eighteen years old. According to the latest figures, 555 children of affected parents are not living at home after an expulsion decision by juvenile welfare and the childrens court.

The correctness of these decisions is doubted. By parents, and by experts from youth services and the judiciary itself. And last year, the Council for Criminal Justice Application and Youth Protection sounded the alarm bell about all relocations in the Netherlands.

Their main warning is that proceedings do not comply with all legal conditions. For example, parents and children are often not represented by, for example, a lawyer. The files about the children and their families are often incomplete. The workload is high, while far-reaching and sometimes irreversible decisions about minors are taken under time pressure.

The House therefore wants supplement parents who disagree with the removal of their child can get a review in court.

Parents who, after insisting on youth services, agreed to an expatriation on a voluntary basis should also be given the opportunity to come back from this, says the House.

Roll-call vote

There was also a roll-call vote on a motion by FvD. It calls for โ€œall children removed from home against the will of the parents in the context of the benefits affair, without further assessment of the case, to return to the family where they came from and belongโ€.

That received support exclusively from the 25 present MPs of FvD, PVV and Groep Van Haga.

On behalf of the other parties, Think leader Azarkan explained why they oppose this motion, even though he may sound appealing:

Abuses must be prevented in the future, says the House. The government should offer children the opportunity to appoint a self-chosen support person in proceedings, the House believes. Research shows that such a support person helps prevent outplacement.

It should also be included in the review of the Juvenile Act that children and parents should be required to be represented during expulsion trials or custody decisions, for example by a juvenile lawyer.

In addition, the Chamber wants the cabinet to ensure that youth care and the judges decide faster, for example within three months, whether a child can return home after a temporary removal. Now those periods last so long that a child has attached to his new environment and for that reason it is no longer wise to let the child go back home.

On Friday, the cabinet announced the first steps of the reform of youth welfare. Tomorrow, the House is debating that. The debate can be followed live from 1pm on NPO Politics and News.