A healthy upbringing enables the broad development of children from a safe home base. The chain of institutions for youth (health)care helps parents bring up their children. Fieke Pannebakker, Development and Behaviour researcher: “At TNO we study the effectiveness of the help that is offered and look at how care can be made as efficient as possible.”

What are the workable elements of an approach? What interventions are effective? How can we create a more efficient care chain to offer families the best support? These are the general issues on which TNO focuses, and in doing so we target a number of specific themes.

Anti-bullying policy

The more resilient children are, the better they can cope with the challenges in their lives and develop good social-emotional skills. To boost that resilience, we have developed an anti-bullying policy and help schools implement this.

Sexual resilience

Together with the youth care institutions that treat youngsters internally, we have developed a flagging system to make sexuality a subject for discussion. What behaviour is or is not permissible, between the youngsters and with supervisors? This boost the sexual resilience of youngsters.

Child abuse

We have worked with Leiden University to carry out the National Prevalence Study of Child Abuse: how often does child abuse occur in the Netherlands? We also investigate the risk factors to help families before they come off the rails.

Divorce assistance

We have investigated the help that is available to children in divorce situations. For 9-12 year-olds there does seem to be adequate help but not for younger children and adolescents. We have therefore acquired an effective help programme from the United States and, together with practices, have applied this to the Dutch situation. We are now studying whether the results in the Netherlands emulate those in the US. We are also providing handles for school social workers on structuring talks with adolescents in divorce situations.


We do this important work with partners. Fieke Pannebakker: “If you would like to join us in looking at how we can facilitate families in bringing up their children, please contact us.”


Dr. Fieke Pannebakker

  • Child health
  • Developmental psychology
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Divorce
  • Separation