‘Nearly all’ local councils ready for youth care transfer

Teenager depressed sitting inside a dirty tunnelLocal councils are ‘nearly all ready’ to take over youth care from central government, according to junior health minister Martin van Rijn and junior justice minister Fred Teeven in a briefing to parliament on Wednesday.

During the last few weeks thousands of contracts have been signed between councils and care providers to ensure the continuation of youth care, the ministers say.

The government is decentralising youth care on January 1 and introducing budget cuts of €450m over three years on the current budget of €3bn.

There has been considerable criticism of the decentralisation. As late as August, around three-quarters of councils had not yet begun negotiations with youth care providers and organisations.


However, Van Rijn now says that continuation of care for vulnerable youngsters is guaranteed for 2015. ‘It is an impressive achievement by councils and providers,’ he told broadcaster Nos. ‘There is now certainty for children and families which need help.’

There is also no need to introduce measures to force councils to meet their new responsibilities. ‘Not even in the few cases where contracts have not yet been signed,’ according to Teeven. ‘Those councils and providers will come to an agreement and continuity is not at risk,’ he told broadcaster Nos.

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