Provinces invest 1.1 billion euro in youth welfare

08/02/2011 15:00

Provincial authorities have estimated the youth welfare budget for 2011 at 1.1 billion euro, i.e. 11 percent of their total provincial budget. Thus, child and youth welfare is one of the main tasks of provinces.

Share youth welfare in estimated expenditure provinces, 2011

Share youth welfare in estimated expenditure provinces, 2011

Growing demand

Since 2005, the provinces have been responsible for child and youth welfare. The demand for youth welfare services has risen rapidly since then from nearly 60 thousand requests in 2005 to more than 100 thousand in 2009. The growth is the result of an increase in young people facing problems or showing signs of behavioural problems, but also a response to incidents. Parents, schools and care-providing institutions tend to signal problems in an earlier stage. As district youth care offices and other child and youth welfare institutions could not cope with the huge amount of requests for assistance, waiting lists grew longer.

Youth welfare funding under pressure

Due to a growing demand and a higher degree of professionalisation, financial resources came increasingly under pressure. Between 2005 and 2011, the estimated expenses of the provinces rose by 50 percent from 0.7 billion to 1.1 billion euro. The estimated government contribution to the provinces grew by 44 percent over the same period. In this year’s budget, expenses exceed revenues by 87 million euro.

Estimated revenue and expenditure child and youth welfare

Estimated revenue and expenditure child and youth welfare

Own resources

Provinces have used their own resources to reduce waiting lists. In last year’s budget, nearly 10 percent of provincial expenditure on youth welfare was funded by own resources. For 2011, this will be down to 8 percent.

Provincial expenditure on youth welfare, 2011

Provincial expenditure on youth welfare, 2011

Jurriën de Jong