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Swiss state placing younger kids in homes

Lyssandra Sears · 21 Jun 2012, 10:56

Published: 21 Jun 2012 11:30 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Jun 2012 10:56 GMT+02:00

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Nursery aged children are increasingly being placed into care homes in Switzerland, experts say.


Six years ago, only middle and high school aged children were placed into care homes. That trend has changed, however, with younger children -- including some at the nursery stage -- now being removed from their families, online news site 20 Minuten reported.

“More and more parents have money problems, mental problems or are experiencing intense pressure at work,” Mirjam Aebischer, managing director of Integra, the Association for Social and Special Education, told the website.

As a result, more children are developing behavioural problems, particularly when there is little structure in their home life.

“The children are more traumatized, have disturbed sleep rhythms, and respond at an early stage more aggressively than other children their age," Heidi Durrer, deputy director of the Titlisblick Childrens’ Home in Luzern, told the website.

Many working in the profession, such as Mark Brandenberger, CEO of the Association of Children and Youth Homes, believe that in some cases, institutionalising young children can make good sense.

Child psychiatrist, Urs Jucker, confirmed that young children can handle the transition into institutionalised care well if accompanied to the home by their former care giver and if the parents are not opposed to the institutionalisation.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

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