“False expectations can lead to disasters”

The Federal Association of Child Protection Centers has warned against false expectations of the planned Federal Child Protection Act. Child protection centers viewed the proposed law with great skepticism, the working group said Thursday in Cologne. Instead of new regulations, more money, space and time are needed.

"It is not so much the lack of legal provisions or the wrong ones that are responsible for a failure of the help institutions, but the institutional lack of financial, spatial, temporal and human resources."The child protection centers called on the parliamentary groups in the Bundestag not to approve the present government bill.The Federal Association of Child Protection Centers criticizes above all the fact that a youth welfare office has to inspect a child at risk itself. It referred to its December statement on the draft bill of the Federal Child Protection Act. In it, the child protection centers describe, among other things, with the help of case examples, the consequences that can result from "making an immediate impression" in certain situations of danger. Sensitively established relationships of trust with parents and initial offers of help are often broken off by the affected families through hasty interventions such as home visits. Parents, and thus also the children, are then no longer attainable for further assistance, criticized the federal working group.Home visits are in certain situations an appropriate and necessary means to get a picture, it is said in the statement. But in the case of "emotional and cognitive neglect, psychological abuse and sexual abuse, home visits to clarify the danger are often not helpful". Under the prere not to do anything wrong, professionals would, in case of doubt, make a home visit and thus sometimes do something dangerously wrong, fear the child protection centers.The bill presented by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs provides, among other things, that a youth welfare office must itself inspect a child at risk if there are weighty indications of neglect or abuse. The so-called "youth welfare office hopping", in which suspicious families have so far been able to avoid being seized by moving house, is also to be made more difficult.All information about the family necessary for a risk assessment will be transmitted to the new youth welfare office in the future. In addition, it should be made easier for doctors and other "professional secrecy bearers" to weigh their duty of confidentiality and to inform the youth welfare office about a possible endangerment.

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