Strategy against child abuse

The government wants to do everything in its power to prevent, identify and deal with child abuse and child sexual abuse. Professionals and the general public need to be alert to signs of child abuse and communicate this with each other if necessary.

Municipalities are responsible for youth care

Municipalities were given full responsibility for youth care in 2015. They have an important role in preventing and stopping child abuse, and providing treatment and support for abused children. Central government helps municipalities fulfil their new tasks.

Experts develop joint plan in cases of child abuse

A lot of parties are involved in dealing with cases of child abuse, from medical specialists to youth care workers and criminal justice authorities. The government wants them to work together in response to cases of (suspected) child abuse. This is referred to as a multidisciplinary approach.

A successful American approach is being tried out in six regional projects in the Netherlands. When there is a case of (suspected) child abuse, the various professionals involved examine the child and the family situation at the same time. Then they draw up a joint action plan. The government wants to know if this method is effective. It is working with the municipalities to decide whether to adopt the method in the rest of the Netherlands.

Task force monitors action against child abuse

The Task Force on Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse supports and advises the government in tackling these problems, for example by:

  • critically monitoring the 25 action areas from the ‘Child Welfare’ action plan 2012-2016 (in Dutch). It reports on its findings every six months;
  • encouraging organisations to carry out the action plan;
  • campaigning against child abuse, for example during Child Welfare Week, which was first held in November 2013.