Child at-risk analysis under fire

Plans to draw up a risk analysis for every child born in the Netherlands came under fire in parliament on Wednesday night, with MPs expressing concern about defining risks and about excessive government interference in family life.

Family affairs minister André Rouvoet (ChristenUnie) wants to produce a file on every child during its first four years. This dossier would list factors which could lead to problems in later life. Potential problems could include health issues but also family-related circumstances such as the long-term unemployment of parents.
The minister says the file would help social workers and other experts to intervene if families ran into trouble.
It also emerged on Wednesday that Labour MPs also support the opposition Liberal (VVD) plan to cut child benefits to parents who refuse to go on courses to improve the way they raise their children.

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