Financial stress is putting children at risk: Veilig Thuis


Financial stress is an important contributing factor in the rise in the number of emotionally neglected children, child protection organisation Veilig Thuis has said.

The organisation had 13,000 reports about emotional neglect in the first six months of this year alone. Inflation, high energy costs and the lack of adequate housing are causing stress among parents, Veilig Thuis chairwoman Judith Kuypers said, adding that very often children are affected as well.

“There is more unrest in families perhaps, and more fighting between parents in front of the children,” Kuypers told NOS Radio 1. “Stress is making it very hard for parents to look at what is important for their children. They are not giving them enough love and attention.”

Veilig Thuis, which has been registering cases of child neglect since 2019, has seen a steady increase in reports over the past five years.

There is more awareness of neglect, Kuypers said. “We knew that we were looking at the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “Schools, for instance, are hesitant to report. We are now working with them to lower the threshold.”

Veilig Thuis follows up reports with talks with the child and their parents, and offers help to those in financial difficulty.

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