Two sisters from The Hague have each been given €5,000 in damages by the city’s youth social work department for its failure to protect them against their parents’ mental and physical abuse, broadcaster NOS reported on Sunday.
The girls were under social worker supervision in 2011 and from 2018 to 2020, but the violence continued throughout the period.
It is thought to be the first time abuse victims have had compensation for social worker failings, NOS said. There is a national compensation scheme for the victims of sexual abuse who lived in council care.
Youth social services told NOS that in “this case we did not succeed as a government body in protecting these children against violence”. The problems are broader, with system failings, long waiting lists, and a shortage of appropriate help, the agency said.
The two sisters, from a conservative Hindustani family, are now in their early 20s and are still undergoing therapy. Part of the compensation is to pay for treatment not covered by health insurance.
The most recent figures from child protection unit Nederlands Jeugdinstituut date from 2017 and suggest between 90,000 and 127,000 children a year are subject to physical abuse.
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