Wards of State: In the Netherlands, minors who have been placed under state supervision or have been removed from their home environment at the order of Youth Care are what we call wards of state.
Youth care in the Netherlands is a market that is driven by perverse incentives, as this book makes clear. A market where expansion and money take precedence over the welfare of young people. A world in which truth and the best possible care are not of paramount importance.
The research concerns the situation that has resulted from a systems change in 2015. All the types of abuses and cases identified over the last eight years are still valid today. Even more so than ever, because abuses accumulate and government oversight and control from 2015 onwards has been completely lacking. Irrespective of the type of problem, adolescents are not safe in the hands of the Dutch state.
Meanwhile, scandals, as described in this book, are being made public and discussed in politics. The translation is mainly intended for readers in Europe and may serve as documentation for any EU legal action, but it is also a tribute to the journalistic work of the author Hélène van Beek (1964–2022).
Hélène van Beek worked as an investigative journalist, and was a member of the VVOJ (Dutch association of investigative journalists).
The author worked on the Dutch version of this book [‘Kinderen van de Staat’] for three years. In the process, she interviewed many adolescents and their parents, care workers and experts from the youth care sector, as well as juvenile lawyers. She consulted all current research and literature. By filing a WOB request (Government Information (Public Access) Act) and talking with key sources, she uncovered secret information about a controversial tender for closed youth care.