We have just learned that the founder and daily manager of the treatment program Solhaven in Farsoe in Denmark has been forced on leave.
The new manager Bent Borg promises changes. We will follow the program closely with help from volunteers in the local community in Farsoe.
2011 was been a difficult year for Danish children. A nationwide panic caused by a few cases of child abuse where the social services had knowledge about how terrible the situation was for the children but didn't intervene resulted in the removal of many children from their families who hadn't any problems. It was cases where parents have criticized the level of education in the school resulted in an act of revenge from the teachers. Others became victims for conflicts between neighbors and their parents.
This panic is still ongoing here in 2012. Still too many teens are robbed of a normal life being forced to live in group homes and foster families while the accusations without obvious facts are investigated.
The politicians in Denmark need to be brave. They need to recognize that the employees in the social services have set them up. The employees have been complaining about the level of the budgets for quite some time and our guess observing the work is that they knew exactly how horrible the children lived but they failed to intervene so they could create headlines. They know that failed work is without risk because the politician’s normal reaction is to fire some random manager who has no direct responsibility in these cases. It has turned out to be exactly what the politicians have done.
Only when social workers are fired if they remove children in cases where the investigation shows that the removal has been without cause then the social workers will focus on the few cases where their services are truly needed.
Next a reform of the methods used to hire and supervise foster families, group homes and treatment centers is needed. 75 percent of the foster families don’t receive education. A number of group homes are run for profit only and in treatment centers there are still too many cases where the employees restrain the children instead of communicating with them.
Basically 75 of the foster families are in the game for the money only. For a number of the group homes and treatment centers the same can be said.
Short to say they need to be put out of business.
The actions in the Solhaven program is a good promise for the future, but the minister of social services need to push the system for a change.
We will be there and try to keep her to do her work.