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CNN WORLD REPORT

Village in the Netherlands Takes Care of Abused Children

Aired September 9, 2001 - 14:13   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SHIHAB RATTANSI, CNN ANCHOR: Caring for mentally and physically abused children can be a challenge, and in the Netherlands, people in one town believe it takes a village to meet the needs of victimized children. RNTV Annette Posthumus takes us to De Glind, a Dutch town set up to rehabilitate and rear abused kids.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNETTE POSTUMUS, RNTV CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It looks just like a small paradise, and it probably is for the roughly 100 children who stay in De Glind. They don't live with their own parents like the other kids in the village, but they are looked after by foster parents.

HENK RUMERT, BREDERVORT ORGANIZATION (through translator): The main purpose of this village is to create a sheltered environment for severely troubled children. It's unique and it works. The thing that makes it special is the fact that besides the professional parents, we have a whole team of people who are involved in the child welfare.

POSTHUMUS: The foster parents are paid a normal salary. One of them is Bas Doms. He takes care of Oscar, David and Stephanie. It all looks like a normal situation, but in fact it's a 24-hour a day job.

BAS DOMS, FOSTER PARENT (through translator): You treat these children different than you would your own children, because they have bigger problems and they need special care. It's sometimes exhausting to be with them all day, but they do put their trust in you more easily.

POSTHUMUS: In the Netherlands, with its extensive social security system, lots of organizations are engaged in youth welfare, and there are thousands of foster parents who take care of problem children.

Isn't there a risk that the kids are too sheltered when they live in a small village like De Glind?

RUMERT: (through translator): In the beginning, it certainly was a big step for the children to leave De Glind -- too big, we realized. That's why we started to actively prepare the children for another life outside our village. We teach them, for instance, how to handle money and where they can get help. POSTHUMUS: The children can stay in De Glind for a maximum of seven years. Eventually, they have to return to their own parents, or a permanent foster home.

For children like Oscar, David and Stephanie, a stay at De Glind gives them a chance of a new start in life.

Annette Posthumus, Radio Netherlands Television, for CNN WORLD REPORT.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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