Social workers criticised over death of young brothers

An official report into the murder of two young boys by their mother at the beginning of this year has criticised social workers for failing to intervene and says the senior official was ‘too involved’ with the family.

The boys, aged seven and 10, were killed by an overdose of medicine administered by their mother. She then tried to commit suicide, but survived.
The family had been under social worker supervision since 2010 but the situation deteriorated in 2011 when the parents separated, according to the official report. Both the father and a neighbour had alerted the authorities that all was not well and the woman also claimed her ex-partner beat his children.
The official report says the lead social worker had become too involved with the mother to act independently and was afraid of the father. Nor did she get enough support from her superiors, the report said.
The woman still has to face trial for murdering her sons.
Family killing
Meanwhile, people in the Utrecht village of Schalkwijk are said to be shocked by this weekend’s family murder-suicide.
The father killed his wife, their daughter and his step-daugher before setting their house on fire and killing himself. An older boy, who was not at home, is now being cared for by the authorities.
According to media reports, the family had moved to the farmhouse to start a bed and breakfast business but had been dogged by financial problems.

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