The cabinet must review ongoing out-of-home placements of children from families who were victims of the benefits scandal. A proposal by MP Pieter Omtzigt and SP leader Lilian Marijnissen to this effect was adopted unanimously, although the cabinet had advised against the proposal.
The so-called Support Team (OT), which assists parents, must be able to ask the judge to have a review of an ongoing out-of-home placement. The reason can be given that ‘that parents were recognized victims in the allowance scandal’, according to the House. If the parents and the child report, the custodial placement must be assessed within six months. “Unless parents themselves indicate that they first want to work on improvement and recovery in a different way”.
Of the 1,675 children of victimized parents who have been removed from their homes since 2015, 555 were still not living with their parents or guardians by the end of 2021, recent figures showed. It was previously assumed that 1115 benefit children were placed out of their homes. The House believes that these children should be reunited with their parents as soon as possible, if it is justified. If that is still too early, contact should at least be re-established. To this end, the out-of-home placements must be reassessed.
Voluntary out of home
The cabinet must also map out how many children of recognized victims of the benefits scandal have been ‘voluntarily’ placed out of their homes. That is, not at the behest of the judge. This motion by Omtzigt was also passed unanimously.
Last week, emotions ran high in the House of Representatives during a debate about custodial placements. During the already sensitive debate, Ruud Verkuijlen (VVD) gave his so-called maiden speech, his first performance in the plenary hall. The unwritten rule is that MPs are not interrupted or that questions are asked to them. At SP and GroenLinks, that went down the wrong way. “Mr Verkuijlen can’t help but his VVD was responsible for this scandal and now we can’t question the VVD,” complained Lilian Marijnissen (SP). Verkuijlen then still spoke, but as a result, parents affected by the allowance affair left the room, while they had followed the debate closely and sometimes with emotion. They returned after the VVD’s performance.
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