Parents and children who have been duped in the Allowances affair and who have had to deal with custodial placements must be able to have the decision of the custodial placement reassessed by a judge within six months. To this end, the House of Representatives unanimously on Tuesday a motion by MPs Lilian Marijnissen (SP) and Pieter Omtzigt (independent MP). The government had advised against the proposal.
The Care Home Placements Allowance Affair, created to assist victims of the Allowance Affair, should be able to ask the judge to reconsider an ongoing home placement. According to the House, parents who, urged by youth care, have agreed to the custodial placement of their child(ren), without the intervention of the judge, should also be given the opportunity to reconsider.
Also read this NRC comment: When judges get a stomachache, the House has to get to work
From 2015 to 2021, 1,675 children of parents affected by the Allowances Affair were separated from their parents after the intervention of youth care and the courts. At the end of 2021, 555 children were still not living with their parents or guardians. This was recently revealed by figures from Statistics Netherlands. Parents, youth care experts and representatives of the judiciary themselves question the legality of those decisions. Legal protection appears to be failing and procedures do not meet the constitutional conditions.
Last year, the Council for Criminal Justice and Youth Protection sounded the alarm about custodial placements. And last March, the Council for the Judiciary sent a letter to the cabinet about the problems in youth care, the chairman of the Council, Henk Naves, said in a statement last week. NRC† According to the Council, children placed out of home run ‘irreversible risks’. According to Naves, this is undesirable for the children and their parents and for “the credibility of the judiciary”.