Document Type

Positive Systems of Child and Family Welfare International Conference (2002)

Publication Date



Faculty of Social Work


For many years, the child and family welfare and the child protection systems in the Netherlands have been under heavy criticism. Numerous experts in these fields have been advocating more intensive co-operation and a better coherence between both systems. The relationship between both fields seems to be a never ending issue for political and public discussion that has filled many bookshelves during the last decades. In spite of this, until now, the criticized relationship between the two has not fundamentally changed. In this paper, the characteristic differences between child and family welfare systems and child protection systems will be considered. Subsequently, these characteristics will be explained in light of the historical argument on which the dichotomy in the care and protection systems is based. Thereafter, attention will be paid to the harmful effects of the existing structure, in particular for multi-problem families; effects that definitely make clear that fundamental amendments in the welfare system must be found and implemented. Finally, ideas for improvement will be discussed.