NEWS – Stop the Carousel
Alicia is a girl who was taken into care when she was a year old and ended up in a children’s home at the age of five, after spending four years with foster parents. The documentary ALICIA follows her daily life over a period of three years. She is aged nine at the start of the film. The new foster family she’s been promised never seems to come. Instead she’s sent from one children’s home to the next. She becomes angry and unmanageable and particularly misses her mother.
These children are often referred to as ‘carousel children’. The term carousel refers to the fact they are continually moved on, justified by the argument that “We can’t guarantee her safety”.
In November 2017 more than a million people had seen the film and released a flood of emotional responses. Many professionals recognized the issues and showed a great willingness to change this perverse system that takes children out of their homes but then fails to offer them a better alternative. Following on from this, film maker Maasja Ooms and producer Willemijn Cerutti started a series of ten dialogues to hear ideas from professionals in the field about how to stop the carousel and to raise the profile of the movement for everyone involved.
The top 3 themes in these dialogues have been incorporated into a Draft Manifesto. At its core are three key principles: a child has a right to be able to look ahead to the future, a right to bonding and a right to the restoration of a normal life. Various pilots and initiatives have been started as a result of the dialogues and the Manifesto has been presented to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities and Branches Gespecialiseerde Zorg voor Jeugd, an alliance of organizations working in Dutch youth care.
Adessium Foundation supports this initiative through the organization ‘The Forgotten Child’ (Het Vergeten Kind). Because every child in the Netherlands should be able to grow up and achieve his or her potential in a secure environment. Alongside this, it is also our aim to promote an increase in the impact of journalistic productions.
Read everything about the Manifesto here (In Dutch)