More children placed under guardianship

12/05/2009 15:00

The number of children placed under guardianship has increased considerably in recent years. In 2007, 10.6 thousand children were placed under guardianship. Their number has nearly doubled relative to 2000. Guardianship is the most common child protection procedure.

Children placed under guardianship

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Most frequently used procedure

In 2007, 10.6 thousand children were placed under guardianship. By the end of the year, the number of children placed under guardianship totalled 29.5 thousand, an increase by 41 percent relative to the year 2000, when 21 thousand children were supervised by a family guardian.

Supervision by a family guardian is the most common child protection measure. Parents are not entirely deprived of their parental authority, but their rights are restricted. A family guardian from a local youth care office provides counselling and assists the parents in their child’s upbringing. The parents must accept the guardian’s authority and follow his/her instructions. Slightly over half of children withdrawn from parental control are placed with foster families or in institutions.

Children placed under guardianship

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Number of children supervised by family guardians stable

Parents are sometimes no longer authorised to take care of their children. In such a case, the child is submitted to the authority of a local youth care office. Subsequently, the child is entrusted to the care of a foster family or institution. The number of children in foster homes or institutions has varied around 5 thousand for years. In 2007, there were one thousand new cases.

Unaccompanied minor refugees under guardianship

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Fewer unaccompanied minor refugees

Unaccompanied minor refugees (until recently referred to as unaccompanied asylum-seeking minors) are also often placed under supervision. The number of these cases has fallen dramatically from 12.6 thousand in 2001 to 2.1 thousand in 2007.

Arno Sprangers and Cecile Schut