Deaths prompt child welfare investigation

20th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

20 December 2006, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Safety Board is to investigate child welfare agencies following several recent deaths of children in problem families known to the authorities.

20 December 2006

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Safety Board is to investigate child welfare agencies following several recent deaths of children in problem families known to the authorities.

The independent investigative board wants to determine whether there are structural failures in the Dutch child protection system. It will issue recommendations to improve the system.

Board chairman Pieter van Vollenhoven said the investigation was partly prompted by the death of the three-year-old Savanna.

The girl died from physical abuse at the hands of her mother in 2004 despite the fact the family was under the supervision of a child welfare officer at the time.

The public prosecution office said earlier this month it would take the social worker to court on charges of culpable homicide.

And a five-year-old boy was found dead last week, allegedly killed by his mother.

The boy lived during the working week with a foster family because his mother was experiencing psychiatric problems.

Shortly before his death, the foster parents had contacted child welfare authorities because they were concerned about the mother.

Despite the deaths, the chairman of the youth welfare department of employers association Maatschappelijke Ondernemers Groep, Hans Nieukerke, was surprised by the intervention of the safety board.

But Nieukerke also said he was not afraid of criticism, as long as it was constrictive criticism. He stressed improvements will be made where necessary.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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