A lot has changed over the past 2 years when it comes to youth care on the BES islands. Youth care now falls under the program directorate of the ministry of VWS, Care and Youth Caribbean Netherlands (ZJCN). Maideline Martijn, Head of Youth at ZJCN, explains the structure of Youth care and what the department does.
Focus on the child
“Since 2019, we have been using a new approach to youth care: the Child Focus Approach. This approach puts the safety of the child first. To make sure that the child is safe, we compile a plan for the whole family. We operate on the basis of 1 family, 1 plan. This means attention is given to all children within the family. This allows us to work preventively. We talk to everyone in the family, also in the presence of the child. The main aim is to primarily offer children the required assistance within their own home environment. We do this by also supporting the parents. Youth care does its best to not remove children from their homes wherever possible. We only do this if there is really no other option. A home where the child is part of the family is the best setting for any child.”