Official care for a Rotterdam family in which a 10-month old baby was battered to death was the responsibility of students, broadcaster Nos says on Friday, citing confidential sources.
City council social workers were not aware of the family’s problems, Nos says. Instead, the family was being supervised by students from Bureau Frontlijn, a council organisation researching ‘innovative ways of providing various forms of care’.
The baby boy died in the Sophia children’s hospital on Tuesday morning. The public prosecution department has arrested the mother’s 25-year-old boyfriend, who is not the baby’s father.
The mother, who has three other children, is now receiving official help, Nos says.
The council has not commented on the claims but says it is investigating the help provided to the family. ‘This is a terrible story but it is too soon to draw conclusions,’ council executive Hugo de Jonge told the Nos. ‘We want to know who else, besides Bureau Frontlijn, knew about this family’s problems.’
Sources told the broadcaster the mother had been ‘involved in domestic violence’ in an earlier family situation and that the other children may also be victims.
Local councils have been officially in charge of youth social work since January this year. Children’s ombudsman Marc Dullaert has begun an official investigation into the use of volunteers in caring for vulnerable children.
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