No structural amount for Youth Care Agencies

State Secretary Teeven (Security and Justice) has decided not to make a structural amount available for the Youth Care Agencies available at this time. The State Secretary does reserve five million Euros in 2011 pursuant to the signals of provinces and urban areas concerning Youth Care Agencies with acute financial difficulties and the consequent creation of waiting lists. He writes this today in a letter to the Lower House.

Teeven reserves this amount because children subject to a youth protection measure have to be helped as quickly as possible. When making these incidental means available, Teeven does set the condition that an external party is appointed to examine the business operations of the relevant agency.

Teeven takes this decision on the basis of the letter he received yesterday on 24 May from the Netherlands Court of Audit. The Netherlands Court of Audit was requested on 30 March 2011 to investigate the rates of juvenile protection and juvenile probation and aftercare services. During the orientation phase, the Netherlands Court of Audit concluded, however, that it cannot perform the investigation as requested. The reason is that the Youth Care Agencies determine the cost price of the relevant data at the level of the organisation as a whole, but that the costs cannot be allocated to the various products the organisation provides. Juvenile protection is one of those products, similarly to juvenile probation and aftercare services. This makes it impossible at this time to analyse and explain the differences between the various Youth Care Agencies. The Netherlands Court of Audit recommends "developing such an administrative system that, in future, there is no more need for a discussion on the cost price of ’products’ in respect of which the Minister of Security and Justice has to establish the rates".

The State Secretary writes that he considers an adequate and uniform manner of administration at the Youth Care Agencies important. He therefore has great appreciation for the fact that the Netherlands Court of Audit is willing to make a contribution to setting up adequate and uniform administration. In addition, the Netherlands Court of Audit will perform an investigation into the adequacy of the rates, the manner in which the Youth Care Agencies handle the deficiencies identified by them and the related question of why some agencies perform better than others. Teeven expects to receive the findings of the Netherlands Court of Audit in the autumn of 2011.