Friday, February 10, 2012

Testimonies from Danes

At the blog called Vidnetsbyrd fra det mørke asyl which can be translated as Testimonies from the dark asylum, Danes will tell how they experienced their stay at Danish group homes, boarding schools or treatment centers.

United States is far from the only country in the world where children suffer when they are forced to live outside their family home. It is time to deal with the abuse worldwide.

What is the present situation in Denmark?

For the next 3 years the government will conduct a survey of the situation for the 14,000 children living in foster care.

The area is a costly area for the public sector. In Denmark there are few programs for private customers. Often the continuation schools are used instead. In Danish they are called “efterskole” and are basically normal boarding schools, but they are strict compared to the level of freedom Danish teenagers have compared with teenagers in the United States. The reason for using only light precautions in cases where teenagers act out is that there is more awareness of life of teenagers.

Teenage pregnancies are rare due to the fact that the law allows teenagers to get birth control medication without parental consent at age 15 and the minister for social services has attacked TV-shows like "Teen mom" followed up with action of social services against some of the Danish participants basically without reason in order to scare teenagers from being mothers. Alcohol is legal to purchase if the percentage is below the safe limit of 16.5. Parents do know that their children drink because there is no reason to keep it a secret when it is legal and partly integrated in the educational system (A lot of the high schools have Friday bars which are actively marketed so they can attract students). Drug use is seen but due to the easy access to alcohol not so widespread as in U.S. High Schools and are you caught with drugs in town you will normally get a two year ban from the night life which is equal with no life for a Danish teenager or young adult.

But for the approximately 14.000 Danish children who are placed in the foster care system life is a nightmare. They are bounced around in the system. 25 percent experience that they are shipped either home to possible neglect or sent to a new group home / foster family within a year.

Abuse of the children in foster care are seldom reported and even when this happen, complaints are ignored even the complaints come from teachers, neighbors and therapists observing marks from beatings on the children.

The main concern is that the authorities keep no regular supervision of the children in foster care allowing violence between the children and abuse from the adults in group homes and foster families.

A report from the department of social services revealed that it was impossible to show an improvement of the situation of the child because it was taken in the social services compared to being left in neglect back home.

None seem to know what do work and what doesn't work.

Hopefully the survey will show what the authorities should do to improve the present situation. Today is only possible to pray.

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