district of Wesel.
District director Wesel warns the Committee for Child and Youth Welfare: Sexual violations are also on the rise. The claim: “We need more staff.”
Sometimes an adjective is enough to clarify a situation. Such a thing is, for example, exorbitant. The Duden describes the meaning of the word as “extraordinary, powerful, enormous, huge”. And when district director Ralf Berensmeier says in the committee for children and young people, “we have an exorbitant increase”, then the politicians sit up and take notice. That’s what happened on Tuesday. There, the District’s General Social Service (ASD) presented its work, especially in connection with sexual violence against children and young people.
The district youth office is responsible for seven towns and communities: Alpen, Neukirchen-Vluyn, Xanten, Sonsbeck, Hünxe, Schermbeck and Hamminkeln. ASD dealt with a total of 371 child endangerment cases in 2021, including around 30 sexual offences. And according to Ralf Berensmeier, these numbers will increase significantly this year. By the end of July this year alone, the district’s youth services had registered 294 cases of endangered children, the district director stated in an interview with the editors. The number of sexual crimes during this period was on a par with the entire previous year. However, it is assumed that the number of child threats in the district’s youth welfare office’s area of responsibility will increase to around 450 by the end of this year, and that the number of sexual offenses will also increase compared to the past. year.
Action field sexualized violence: District of Wesel creates new interface
In this tension area, the district has created a new interface. Four members of staff in ASD have been trained as specialists in sexualized violence and must support their colleagues as soon as the first suspicion arises. They help with case counseling, in conversations with the affected children and families as well as with the professional committees involved and in the search for suitable offers of help.
It is about networks and support, about relief, education and empathy, especially when talking to children and young people who have been victims of sexualized violence. Materials to support interviews are currently being prepared and will also be transferred to the handbook for social services.
District General Social Service (ASD): the workload is high
Above all, however, it is about speed – about quick help and a quick backup of the statements to make them safe in court and to save those affected from having to testify again in court. Cooperation talks with the competent courts are already being planned, the experts said at the meeting on Tuesday.
There they confirmed that the ASD colleagues are not alone. After all, cases of sexual assault are also a big burden for them. In addition, there is an increase in the number of cases in all ASD areas, which district director Ralf Berensmeier made clear. According to Berensmeier, the workload has been very high for some time: “ASD is on its last legs.”
Wesel district director: “We need more staff”
The personnel quota in ASD is currently 15.25 positions spread over 22 employees. Without additional employees, this work will not be possible in the future, announced the district director. “We need more staff.” This additional need must also be asserted. “Politicians must adapt to that.” The committee members signaled broad support. The work is so important that “you must be assured of every personal support from our side,” said Richard Stanczyk of the SPD.
The district of Wesel apparently has no problems getting suitable applicants for the area. Until now, it has always been the case that there have been more applications than advertised positions, according to Ralf Berensmeier, including applications of high quality. “This shows that the district is still an attractive employer.”
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