“Meeting with the Duchess of Cambridge Particularly Inspiring”

October 12, 2016

“Particularly inspiring.” That is how four Trimbos colleagues summarized the round table meeting with the Duchess of Cambridge and representatives of two British institutes, held in The Hague. The topic of discussion: prevention and treatment of children whose parents have psychological or addiction problems.

The official meeting with the Duchess of Cambridge took place at 16:00 hours in the residence of the British ambassador in The Hague. Before this meeting, business talks were held between representatives of the renowned British institutes Action on Addiction and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, of which the Duchess is patroness. Rutger Engels, Judith Oostendorp, Paula Speetjens, and Rianne van der Zanden represented the Trimbos Institute.

Inspiring and relaxed
Particularly inspiring, but also relaxed, was how the four Trimbos professionals described the meeting afterwards. Judging by the questions the Duchess asked, it was obvious she is well informed about problem issues and has a warm heart for children. In bringing these subjects to the table, the Duchess enabled the Trimbos Institute to share experiences and expertise with the Anna Freud Center and Action on Addiction, which was valuable.

Topics of discussion were, among others, the child checkup, the care for children whose parents have problems with addictions (the KOPP-guideline), and interventions such as the website ‘Kopstoring’ and group therapies such as ‘PIEP zei de muis.’ It was clear both countries experience similarities in problem issues, such as healthcare workers who find it difficult to discuss parenting in client contacts.

Rutger Engels also emphasized the importance of the signal the Duchess is giving by using her first official visit to the Netherlands to focus attention on this particularly vulnerable group of children. This is especially so because we know that these children themselves run a higher risk of developing psychological or addiction problems at a later age. He expressed hope that care for this group of children and their parents both in the U.K. as well as in the Netherlands can be further improved by exchanging knowledge and expertise with the colleagues of the British institutes Action on Addiction and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

Photo: Gary Johnson, Embassy photographer

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