Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland
At the moment, about 7,000 underage children are staying at women’s shelters or social shelters. Many of them are victims of child abuse or witnesses to domestic abuse. Their experiences have left them with post-traumatic issues, for which they require professional counseling. However, these children often don’t receive the care and specialist counseling they need. Because they arrived at the shelter with their parent or parents, they don’t have an independent case file.
Dutch child welfare charity Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland, in coalition with Augeo, Kans Fonds (Opportunity Fund) and Het Vergeten Kind (The Forgotten Child) advocates for independent case files for children in shelters. That’s the only way we can provide each child with their own intake session, plan of action, and tailored counseling. The coalition lobbied for their cause with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and the Association of Dutch Municipalities. In February of 2017, the Dutch Parliament unanimously accepted a motion prepared by the coalition, stating that municipalities should provide specific counseling for each shelter child through independent case files. The municipalities are specifically urged to safeguard the position of children within women’s shelters, as well as realize financial support. Joining forces in a coalition meant a stronger lobbying position, which in turn led to the motion being accepted.
The motion has been accepted by Parliament, but we’re not there yet. It’s now up to the municipalities. Leiden Mayor Lenferink has agreed to lead the effort from here. Youth groups from within Kinderpostzegels, Augeo and Het Vergeten Kind have combined their stories into one wonderful book that supports our plea for more protection and counseling. Working together with young people from the target audience, and giving them a voice has been a key success factor. Working together with shelters and their umbrella organization, the Federatie Opvang (Shelter Federation), has been another.
For this coalition, Adessium Foundation provides Kinderpostzegels with extra support.
About this partner
The Veilige Toekomst (Safe Future) program by Dutch child welfare charity Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland strives to improve the living conditions and development prospects for shelter children. Their priority is in creating a safe, child-friendly space that involves professional and appropriate counseling for shelter children. They also work to create political awareness and advocate their cause through a coalition of Kinderpostzegels, Augeo, Kans Fonds (Opportunity Fund) and Het Vergeten Kind (The Forgotten Child).