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CRIME

Foster home child abuse ‘worse than expected’

The level of child abuse in Swedish foster homes and orphanages from the 1950s to the 1980s has turned out to be "much worse than expected," according to a new government report.

One of the authors of the report, Göran Johansson, is scheduled to present the report’s preliminary findings to the government on Tuesday.

The study focuses solely on people who say they were mistreated as children while in the care of foster families or orphanages.

“It was much worse than we had expected. None of us knew the full extent or depth of their misery,” Göran Johansson told Dagens Nyheter.

A total of 62 people have so far explained to the reports’ authors what became of them after they were placed in the care of the state – mostly in the 1950s and 1960s, but also as late as the early 1980s.

“We feel a sense of desperation, and indeed rage, with respect to the stories we have heard,” said Johansson.

“They relate to systematic abuse at the hands of those who were supposed to care for and protect the children. There was everything from ruthless exploitation by means of physical labour to serious assault, psychological terror and rape,” he added.

HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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