Chapter

Policy Toward Child Abuse and Neglect in Belgium

Kristof Desair and Peter Adriaenssens

in Child Protection Systems

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199793358
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895137 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199793358.003.0010

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

Policy Toward Child Abuse and Neglect in Belgium

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In Belgium we can make a distinction between social policy with a broad focus, that in general reduces risk factors linked to child abuse and neglect, and policy that is more narrowly focused on intervening when child abuse and neglect occur. This chapter mainly looks at the narrow focus in Belgium. The Confidential Centres for Child Abuse and Neglect in Flanders and the Centres SOS-Enfants play an important role. The Belgian approach can be located on a continuum between disciplinary or criminalizing and an emancipatory or caring system. The absence of mandatory reporting is discussed, and how this relates the subsidiarity and the principle of the best interest of the child. Data on developments in this system and on the incidence of child abuse are displayed. The chapter ends with a discussion about some challenges that the system faces. 

Keywords: subsidiarity; child abuse; confidential centre; Belgium; Flanders; S.O.S.-Enfants; family-oriented; voluntary care; best interest; emancipatory

Chapter.  7990 words.  Illustrated.

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