Inquiry into reality TV 'child neglect'
5 October 2006, AMSTERDAM — Flevoland youth services are investigating what the consequences could be for two young children separated from their mother who is participating in a reality TV show on the Talpa network.
5 October 2006
AMSTERDAM — Flevoland youth services are investigating what the consequences could be for two young children separated from their mother who is participating in a reality TV show on the Talpa network.
Bureau Jeugdzorg Flevoland spokesman Greet Bouwman said she will investigate the psychological impact on the children from a possible long-term separation from their mother.
The 32-year-old Natasia has a six-year-old son and a nine-year-old daughter. The boy suffers from a liver condition.
Natasia has entered a reality show called De gouden kooi (The Golden Cage), a show in which other parents are also participants.
Bouwman said the youth services bureau has in the past given assistance to Natasia and family on a voluntary basis and has revisited the family since she entered the TV show.
Despite the fact that visit reassured Bouwman that the children have been placed into good care, the effect on the children of their mother's absence will be assessed.
"It must be well investigated. This is a relatively new phenomenon," she said.
Bouwman said a public discussion about the matter is also healthy. She said the programme makers should also give the matter some thought.
Natasia's boyfriend, not the father of the children, and her two sisters will look after the children while Natasia is away from home.
Earlier, Natasia had said she wanted to 'recharge her batteries' and plans to undergo studies while in the TV show villa and become an executive secretary after she leaves.
But it is not yet known how long the participants will remain the house.
In principle, the person who stays in the longest wins. The victor is awarded a country estate and a large sum of money.
The participants have paid a guarantee of EUR 10,000. They'll forfeit the cash if they leave the house within a year.
Recent footage of both Natasia and children — in which the daughter cried and was extremely emotional — has prompted Labour PvdA MPs Ella Kalsbeek and Jeroen Dijjselbloem to lodge questions with the nation's Justice and Education ministers.
Both MPs want to know whether the parents in the TV show can be charged with neglect. They believe that child protection authorities should step in, where necessary.
Talpa chief John de Mol has given assurances that the children of participants will be taken care off and given counseling and guidance.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Dutch news