State Parliament: kindergarten, school, police: SPD wants training on child protection

Nursery, school, police: SPD wants child protection training

Lügde’s commission of inquiry into the complex of child abuse has brought many frightening results. One of them: the authorities have “formalities completed” instead of protecting the children. The SPD presents a plan that aims to avoid official blindness in the future.

In the event of an electoral victory in North Rhine-Westphalia, the SPD wants to make child protection training compulsory for educators, teachers, police officers, judges and other professional groups. This was announced by the main candidate of the SPD in the state elections on May 15, Thomas Kutschaty. Under the title “Listen to children better – professionalise staff”, he presented a five-point plan for more effective child protection in Düsseldorf on Tuesday.

Kuschaty explained that the program is a lesson from the terrible series of abuses that have finally been uncovered in NRW since 2019, combined with crime scenes like Lügde, Münster or Bergisch Gladbach. A frightening discovery is: “In a suspicious case, a child has to talk to seven people on average before he is believed.” It can’t stay that way.

In order for child protection to be perceived more from the perspective of those affected in the future, instead of simply operating through the facilities, it is also necessary to professionalise the approach of youth care offices. The parliamentary commission of inquiry into child abuse, which had examined the work of youth assistance offices, the police, the judiciary and other institutions, had highlighted “obvious gaps”, summarized the chairman of the commission. Martin Börschel (SPD). In the complex of abuses for the hundreds of crimes in a campsite in Lügde, Lippe, too often “formalities have been completed at best”.

The SPD is now examining how, despite municipal self-government in this area, state-regulated specialist oversight of youth welfare offices can be established “tightly”, said the chairman of the parliamentary family committee. , Wolfgang Jörg. The Social Democrats also want a NRW children’s representative as a point of contact for all those affected and as a coordinator for the local ombudsman’s offices that work independently of the youth assistance offices.

The state parliament’s child protection commission complained that the 186 state youth welfare offices functioned very differently. Staff and workload are unevenly distributed, state legal standards are lacking, President Britta Altenkamp (SPD) denounced.

Kuschaty wants to implement child protection modules in training and higher education in many professions that have a lot to do with children and young people. This would make them mandatory, the former North Rhine-Westphalia Minister of Justice stressed. Börschel stressed that it is also about treating victims empathetically, taking care of staff and avoiding unnecessary multiple interrogations, so that abused children do not have to feel victims again in the authorities.

Wolfgang Jörg explained: “We have to learn to look, to interpret the signs correctly”. The profiles and strategies of perpetrators should also be better recognized. The goal is: anyone working in such professions must take the appropriate training modules – “otherwise there is no state recognition”.

NRW Family Minister Joachim Stamp (FDP) referred to an action plan with 66 measures that the state government had already launched in the fight against sexual violence against children. Thanks to significantly increased funding, it is now possible to offer specialized advice throughout NRW.

Following a change in the law, every school must now create a concept of protection against violence and sexual abuse. In support of the school, psychological services have been increased by 100 places. Furthermore, the protection of victims has been strengthened.

“Sexual violence against children and young people is a heinous crime,” Stamp said in a statement. The fight against it is a challenge for society as a whole. “Each of us is therefore required to take a closer look and hear and report suspected cases immediately,” Stamp stressed.

CDU faction child protection expert Christina Schulze Föcking sees nothing new in the SPD’s demands, but “an abridged version of the current child protection law” and the government action plan state.


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