Charges loom for Savanna's guardian
10 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — Justice officials in The Hague are to launch a criminal investigation into the family guardian assigned to monitor three-year-old Savanna after she was taken from foster care and returned to her mother.
10 March 2005
AMSTERDAM — Justice officials in The Hague are to launch a criminal investigation into the family guardian assigned to monitor three-year-old Savanna after she was taken from foster care and returned to her mother.
Prosecutors want to determine if the gezinsvoogd, or family guardian, assigned to Savanna's case should be prosecuted, possibly for culpable homicide resulting from the carrying out of public duties or a profession.
Savanna's corpse was found in the truck of her mother's car last September. Police also found a spade in the vehicle.
The mother and her partner have been remanded to the Pieter Baan psychiatric assessment centre and are expected to go on trial in May.
The Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) announced the investigation into the guardian as several child welfare agencies were severely criticised by an official report into the case on Thursday.
The report by the child care inspectorate (Inspectie voor de Jeugdzorg) has highlighted what it says are failings by a range of child care organisations, including the child protection agency, Raad voor de Kinderbescherming.
Inspectorate chief Joke de Vries presented the report's findings at a press conference on Thursday and news agency ANP said the report notes that there were problems in Savanna's family back in 2002.
Savanna was removed from the family home in February of that year and taken into care after the advice and registration office for child abuse (AMK) was notified of claims the child was being neglected, under nourished and possibly being physically abused.
The child was retuned six months later to her mother who had re-housed to Alphen aan den Rijn. From then until the child's body was discovered in September 2004, there were repeated reports that Savanna was being mistreated.
Thursday's report says that the child protection agency did not carry out an evaluation of the advisability and risk of returning Savanna to her mother. The AMK was not asked for input on the decision, the report said.
Another agency, Bureau Jeugdzorg, was criticised for letting the girl go back to her mother despite indications the mother was not accepting any advice on how best to rear the child.
The inspector's report said it was unacceptable Bureau Jeugdzorg did nothing when she reneged on a commitment to allow regular visits from a case worker.
The child care guardian assigned to the case tried everything to maintain contact with the family, but in so doing allowed the mother to dictate matters.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news