More young people receiving youth assistance, particularly teenage girls

Safety and justice | 17-05-2024 10:05

In 2023, 474 thousand young people received youth care. This was 10,000 more than in 2021, an increase of 2.2 percent. This increase resulted from more young people receiving non-residential youth assistance. More girls aged 12 to 17 in particular were receiving this form of support. This is according to provisional figures by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

In 2023, 1 in 9 young people below the age of 23 were receiving some form of youth care, while among those aged under 18, this was 1 in 7. In most cases, this was youth assistance without residence. In 2023, 447 thousand young people received this form of youth care (94 percent of the total). This was 13 thousand more than two years previously. Young people receiving this form of support live with their parents and receive care by appointment. Examples include individual therapy and group sessions.

Decline in other types of youth care

For all other forms of youth care, the number of young people receiving care was lower than in 2021. For example, fewer young people received youth assistance with residence [toelichting] (-5 percent) and the number of young people subject to a supervision order decreased by 15 percent. Moreover, fewer young people were placed under guardianship (-10 percent).

Fewer young people went through juvenile rehabilitation [toelichting] in 2023 than in 2021 (-4 percent); however, after years of decline, this number did increase by 2 percent compared with 2022.

More teenage girls receiving youth assistance

The increase in the number of young people receiving youth assistance in 2023 was mainly due to the fact that more teenage girls were receiving youth care without residence. For instance, 102 thousand girls aged 12 to 17 (1 in 6) received this form of youth assistance in 2023, 10 thousand more than in 2021. In no other age group has the increase been this large.

Boys aged 8 to 12 were relatively more likely to receive youth assistance: nearly 1 in 4.  This share has remained stable in recent years. In 2023, it was 83 percent of the 379 thousand boys in that age group. 

Substantial differences between municipalities

The share of young people receiving youth care varies widely between municipalities. This was highest in the municipalities of Tiel and Terneuzen, where more than 15 percent of young people aged under 23 were receiving youth care. In Schiedam, Raalte, Maassluis, Schiermonnikoog, Ameland, Staphorst and Vlieland it was lowest, at less than 6 percent.

The differences between municipalities may have several causes. Municipalities can make their own choices regarding how they organise youth care, which can lead to differences in the level and type of youth care available. Socio-economic differences between regions can also have an impact, such as the level of income, the number of single-parent families and how much care is used.

Since 2021 there has been a sharp increase in the reporting population of youth assistance providers. As a result, the number of young people receiving youth assistance in kind increased by 7 percent. This means that the outcomes for the years 2021 and onwards do not compare well with the outcomes for the years 2015 to 2020. The figures from 2021 onwards are published in a new table.