Parliamentary Ombudsman traps heavily on the municipality in case of placement. „This is a violent action against a child.“
Anders Legarth Schmidt ANDERS LEGARTH SCHMIDT
The video begins with a man standing over a girl sitting on a couch. „Now you come up with,“ said the man. The girl says ’no‘, but the man lifts the girl off the couch and carries her assisted by a helper out of the house to a waiting car. The 11-year-old girl crying desperately, as she is moved. She kicks off the air and try to grab the furniture, which she passes. „Boy, it’s disgusting, man,“ said a voice before the door slams and the car running away from the yard.
See the municipality’s violent forced displacement of 11-year-old
The girl in the recording called Amy and the video shows how employees from Næstved by force in 2012 removed the Ethiopian-born child from her foster family after the municipality had decided that she should stay in a residence that better able to handle her.
A violent crackdown on a child
Amy became the center of a controversial case of adoption and fostering, where among other things, the following questions were asked: Was the municipal action in order? The answer has come. After prolonged study concludes Parliamentary Ombudsman that it was illegal, since Næstved moved the girl by force, even though it had decided that the girl against her will had to get away from his foster family. When children are moving from one placement to another, it must be voluntary, says the Ombudsman.
„I understand that the lack of legal basis has left the municipality in a difficult situation. But when there is no legal basis to use force, you can not do it. This is a violent action against a child, „said the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Jørgen Steen Sørensen.
After a tough childhood in Ethiopia nine years old Amy came to Denmark one August day in 2009 and moved in with her adoptive parents in Næstved. After some time the adoptive parents find it difficult to deal with her, there were endless conflicts where Amy was angry and reacted violently to prohibitions and requirements. Even Amy explained that she was beaten, adoptive According to Politiken’s previous coverage of the case acknowledged that they in affect came to shake her and were slapping her. They sought help in the form of psychological assistance and family counseling, the municipality was informed about the problems and Amy was placed with a foster family.
Risk of child development and well-being
Amy had been living with the foster family for 11 months, when Næstved Municipality decided to move her to a residential institution with professional educators.
The decision was made based on an assessment of her mental state. The municipality assessed by his own admission that there were „obvious risk to the child’s development and well-being, if not put in with appropriate support in time ‚. They felt at that time caught in a dilemma. On the one hand they knew that Amy preferred to stay with his foster family. On the other hand, the municipality had an obligation to do what it considered was best for the child; namely to move her to a residential institution. Therefore, the municipality saw no other solution than to remove Amy by force.
Since the dramatic move became public, several experts in law stated that it is not permissible to use force against a child in a foster home, unless there is an actual self-defense.
Parliamentary Ombudsman writes like this in his decision that he assumes that conditions in the foster family was not so bad that the municipality’s use of force ‚was based on the principles of self-defense and necessity‘. The Ombudsman considers it in the background ‚highly reprehensible‘ that Næstved used coercion as it consummated its decision to move Amy from one place to another.
Ministry to consider rules
Own initiative, the Parliamentary Ombudsman now called upon Social Security and the Interior Ministry to consider whether there should be created rules on how authorities can move a child to a new placement if the child resists.
After fierce criticism of the process complained Næstved back in 2012 that Amy was subjected to ‚a dramatic removal‘. A united the Children and Youth Committee in the municipality decided that Amy had to move back to her foster family. It happened on the basis of a number of experts had studied and analyzed the case. Amy was thus away from the foster family for four months, within the municipality thus turned on a dime and followed the child’s own wishes.