The wrong tool for the job : the introduction of the child Index in Dutch child welfare

I.G.A. Lecluijze

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal


Savanna, the Meuse girl and the girl from Nulde: thanks in part to the media attention surrounding the tragic deaths of these children, the Dutch Government implemented a national ICT system in 2010 to identify high-risk children at an early stage and to improve collaboration among various professionals. This system is known as the Reference Index for High-Risk Children (Verwijsindex Risicojongeren) and was implemented despite the questions raised by lawyers, the lack of support from youth workers and the fact that it did not address issues raised by parents. This dissertation found that the ICT tool proved unsuccessful. The study questioned whether a professional ICT tool like the Reference Index should be governed by national legislation and whether it fits within the new youth policy, which emphasises de-medicalisation over risk identification. The Reference Index should therefore be open to further debate.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Horstman, Klasien, Supervisor
  • Feron, Frans, Supervisor
  • Penders, Bart, Co-Supervisor
Award date4 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • high-risk children
  • Reference Index
  • ICT
  • youth care

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