Children in care not protected against sexual abuse: report

The Samson committee, which investigates cases of abuse of children placed in council care, is sending 42 files on sexual abuse to the public prosecution department.

The Samson committee, led by former procurator general Rieke Samson, has spent two years investigating cases of sexual abuse among children in care since1945. So far, it has received 800 claims.
Presenting its report on Monday, the committee said the government, care homes and the foster care service did not do enough to protect children, originally because they did not know of the abuse. However, when they did know, they lacked the professionalism and courage to deal with abuse cases, the report said.
The committee found that of the 800 claims, 65% concerned care homes, 30% foster families and 5% said they had been abused in both places.
The report contains a number of recommendations, but many of them have been made repeatedly over the past 20 years. Action must now be taken quickly, the report says.
Jeugdzorg, the organisation responsible for children in care, has immediately appointed former deputy prime minister and ChristenUnie member André Rouvoet to head up an independent committee to investigate how sexual abuse can be stamped out, reports the Volkskrant.
In a reaction to the report, Jeugdzorg says ‘We are devastated and deeply sorry that children in our care were confronted with sexual abuse’.
The Samson committee was set up in the wake of another major investigation into child abuse by members of the Catholic church.

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