Germany to step up child protection after death

13th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 October 2006, Berlin (dpa) - The German government promised Friday to step up child protection following the death of a toddler who was found in the refrigerator of his drug-addict father. Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries pledged better cooperation between departments caring for children and said an early warning system to assist children suffering neglect or abuse would be introduced this year instead of next. The move comes three days after the discovery of 2-year-old "Kevin" with multiple broken bon

13 October 2006

Berlin (dpa) - The German government promised Friday to step up child protection following the death of a toddler who was found in the refrigerator of his drug-addict father.

Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries pledged better cooperation between departments caring for children and said an early warning system to assist children suffering neglect or abuse would be introduced this year instead of next.

The move comes three days after the discovery of 2-year-old "Kevin" with multiple broken bones and a bloodstained skull in the northern city of Bremen.

Social services had been looking after the boy, but allowed him to stay with his 41-year-old father even though the man was a suspect in the death of the boy's mother, who was also a drug addict.

The father is under arrest, pending a formal indictment on murder and child abuse. Three social service workers in charge of the boy's case are also under investigation.

Bremen Social Affairs Senator Karin Roepke resigned after police and social workers discovered the body when they attempted to take custody of the child on Tuesday.

A doctor last saw the boy in July, before a court sat on the case and ordered the child to be made a ward of the state.

There have been at least half-a-dozen cases in the last six years where parents in Germany have been charged or sentenced to prison terms for causing the death of their children by neglect.

Experts estimate there are about 10,000 children living in conditions bordering on neglect in Germany, one of Europe's richest countries.

DPA

Subject: German news

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