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If you are a professional working with families, children or adults, and you suspect child abuse or domestic violence, you must act in accordance with the Model Protocol for Child Abuse and Domestic Violence. The protocol is obligatory in the following sectors:
- social work
- youth care
- the (criminal) justice system
You must lay down and implement the protocol and inform your employees about it.
About the protocol
This protocol offers a five-step plan detailing the best course of action if you suspect child abuse or domestic violence. Each organisation develops its own protocol, but it must contain the following steps:
- Note the signs of child abuse or domestic violence.
- Consult a colleague and if necessary consult your local or regional Safe at Home Centre Veilig Thuis (in Dutch).
- Speak to the parent or guardian.
- Determine the severity of the abuse using the protocol checklist.
- Take two decisions: Do I need to report it to Veilig Thuis? Can I organise or provide assistance?
Tho help you decide whether or not you need to report child abuse to Veilig Thuis and to help you set up a protocol, the Toolkit for the reporting code domestic violence and child abuse (in Dutch) offers more information.
When to report abuse to Veilig Thuis?
If you suspect child abuse or domestic violence, you must report it to Veilig Thuis if:
- the danger is acute (direct danger)
- the danger is structural (persistent danger)
Requesting advice or reporting abuse
If you would like advice or want to report child abuse or domestic violence, you can contact your local or regional Safe at Home Centre Veilig Thuis (in Dutch).
Registering a help plan or reporting abuse
Confidential grievance inspector for childcare
If you are a childcare centre employer who suspects an employee of (sexual) child abuse, you must contact a confidential grievance inspector with the Dutch Inspectorate of Education (Inspectie van het Onderwijs). They will also provide counselling to employees and parents.