Federal Ministry of Family Affairs

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Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth

State level Federation
position supreme federal authority
founding 1953 as the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs
Headquarters BerlinBerlin Berlin , Glinkastraße 24
Authority management Christine Lambrecht ( SPD ), Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth
Servants around 900 (as of 2021)
Budget volume EUR 10.45 billion (2019)
Web presence www.bmfsfj.de
Christine Lambrecht (SPD), Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth

The Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth ( BMFSFJ for short ) is a supreme federal authority in the Federal Republic of Germany . Its headquarters or first office is in Berlin , its second - more staffed - office in the federal city of Bonn .


The Federal Ministry was initially founded in 1953 under the name Federal Ministry for Family Affairs . From 1957 the youth division was added ( Federal Ministry for Family and Youth Issues (1957) and Federal Ministry for Family and Youth (1963)). In 1969 the Federal Ministry of Health was incorporated into the Federal Ministry for Family and Youth and in 1991 it was separated out again ( Federal Ministry for Youth, Family and Health (1969) and Federal Ministry for Youth, Family, Women and Health (1986)). The remaining ministry was divided into the Federal Ministry for Family and Seniors and the Federal Ministry for Women and Youth . These two areas have been combined since 1994, hence the name Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth .


The tasks can be divided into different categories: family, senior citizens, women, children and young people, welfare work, voluntary service and civic engagement.

Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, headquarters in Berlin
Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Bonn office

Family policy

The Federal Ministry of Family Affairs is responsible for family support ( advance maintenance , maternity leave , parental allowance , child allowance ), ensures that family interests are taken into account within the federal government (e.g. in tax law , housing allowance , pension insurance ), and ensures better conditions for partnership Parental responsibility of fathers and mothers ( parental leave , family-friendly working environment , local alliances for families ).

The societal awareness processes are promoted by models, among other things

In addition, the Ministry of Family Affairs supports those responsible for family work (e.g. family associations, family education, family counseling , family self-help).

Elderly people

The Federal Seniors Ministry is launching model projects to promote an independent life for senior citizens and for high-quality help and care in old age and improve the legal framework, for example through the Geriatric Care Act and the Home Care Act. In addition, the Seniors Ministry initiates research projects to improve the decision-making basis for senior policy action in the face of demographic change, supports European and international cooperation at government level, promotes senior citizens' organizations that support older people in safeguarding their interests.


The ministry draws up federal laws on the enforcement of equality and influences the legislative proposals of other ministries, insofar as they affect questions of women or equality. In addition, the ministry develops programs and initiatives for the equality of women in politics, society and the world of work as well as to reduce violence against women, and promotes and supports women's organizations and nationwide associations in the field of equality.

Children and youth

The Federal Youth Ministry oversees existing federal laws, for example the Eighth Book of the Social Code (Child and Youth Welfare Act) and the Youth Protection Act , and in close contact with other federal ministries, the federal states and municipalities, as well as public youth welfare, safeguards the interests of children and young people in all political areas. In addition, the Federal Youth Ministry is involved in the implementation and further development of the European youth programs and commissions independent experts to provide information on the situation of young people in Germany and promotes relevant research projects. It is also responsible for the federal child and youth plan , the central, nationwide funding pool in child and youth work.

Federal Voluntary Service

The Federal Ministry of Family Affairs oversees the legislation for the implementation of the Federal Voluntary Service and develops structures in which this state service is to be carried out nationwide. It exercises specialist, legal and service supervision over the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society tasks , which is responsible for attracting and supporting the service providers as well as the recognition and supervision of the departments in which the Federal Voluntary Service is carried out. In addition, the Federal Ministry regulates the cooperation with the associations of the voluntary welfare service, which provide most of the federal voluntary service, and regulates, among other things, the monetary and non-cash benefits, welfare, maintenance security, family trips home and advanced training for the federal volunteers.

Welfare, civic engagement

The Federal Ministry promotes the work of the welfare organizations as well as a number of social associations and institutions at federal level, such as the Observatory for Sociopolitical Developments in Europe . It initiated and coordinated the measures for the UN International Year of Volunteers in 2001 for the Federal Government and, in 2002, accompanied the Study Commission on the Future of Civic Engagement of the German Bundestag, is responsible for the promotion and further development of the voluntary social year and voluntary ecological Year as well as for the drafting of the Volunteer Act.

Federal ministers since 1953

Christine Lambrecht Franziska Giffey Katarina Barley Manuela Schwesig Kristina Schröder Ursula von der Leyen Renate Schmidt Christine Bergmann Claudia Nolte Hannelore Rönsch Angela Merkel Ursula Lehr Rita Süßmuth Heiner Geißler Anke Fuchs Antje Huber Katharina Focke Käte Strobel Aenne Brauksiepe Bruno Heck Franz-Josef Wuermeling
No. Surname Life dates Political party Beginning of the term of office Term expires Cabinet (s)
Federal Minister for Family Affairs
1 Franz-Josef Wuermeling 1900-1986 CDU October 20, 1953 October 29, 1957 Adenauer II
Federal Minister for Family and Youth Issues
1 Franz-Josef Wuermeling 1900-1986 CDU October 29, 1957 December 13, 1962 Adenauer III , IV
2 Bruno Heck 1917-1989 CDU December 14, 1962 October 11, 1963 Adenauer V
Federal Minister for Family and Youth
2 Bruno Heck 1917-1989 CDU 17th October 1963 2nd October 1968 Erhard I , II , Kiesinger
3 Aenne Brauksiepe 1912-1997 CDU October 16, 1968 October 21, 1969 Kiesinger
Federal Minister for Youth, Family and Health
4th Kate Strobel 1907-1996 SPD October 22, 1969 December 15, 1972 Brandt I.
5 Katharina Focke 1922-2016 SPD December 15, 1972 December 14, 1976 Brandt II , Schmidt I
6th Antje Huber 1924-2015 SPD December 16, 1976 April 28, 1982 Schmidt II , III
7th Anke Fuchs 1937-2019 SPD April 28, 1982 October 1, 1982 Schmidt III
8th Heiner Geissler 1930-2017 CDU 4th October 1982 September 26, 1985 Kohl I , II
9 Rita Süssmuth * 1937 CDU September 26, 1985 June 5, 1986 Kohl II
Federal Minister for Youth, Family, Women and Health
9 Rita Süssmuth * 1937 CDU June 6, 1986 December 9, 1988 Kohl III
10 Ursula Lehr * 1930 CDU December 9, 1988 January 18, 1991 Kohl III
Federal Minister for Family and Seniors
11 Hannelore Rönsch * 1942 CDU January 18, 1991 17th November 1994 Cabbage IV
Federal Minister for Women and Youth
11 Angela Merkel * 1954 CDU January 18, 1991 17th November 1994 Cabbage IV
Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth
12th Claudia Nolte * 1966 CDU 17th November 1994 October 26, 1998 Cabbage v
13th Christine Bergmann * 1939 SPD October 27, 1998 October 22, 2002 Schröder I
14th Renate Schmidt * 1943 SPD October 22, 2002 November 22, 2005 Schröder II
15th Ursula von der Leyen * 1958 CDU November 22, 2005 November 30, 2009 Merkel I , II
16 Kristina Schröder * 1977 CDU November 30, 2009 17th December 2013 Merkel II
17th Manuela Schwesig * 1974 SPD 17th December 2013 2nd June 2017 Merkel III
18th Katarina Barley * 1968 SPD 2nd June 2017 March 14, 2018 Merkel III
19th Franziska Giffey * 1978 SPD March 14, 2018 May 20, 2021 Merkel IV
20th Christine Lambrecht * 1965 SPD May 20, 2021 officiating Merkel IV

Franz-Josef Wuermeling (1953–1962)

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In 1953, family policy was elevated to the rank of federal ministry under the Konrad Adenauer government . Franz-Josef Wuermeling ( CDU ) was the first Federal Minister for Family Affairs and was in office until 1962. Wuermeling became known for its Wuermeling Pass , which enabled children and young people from large families to travel by train at half price.

In 1952, with the Maternity Protection Act , the Federal Ministry set for the first time a uniform period of protection for working mothers-to-be of six weeks before and after the birth. In 1955, the Child Benefit Act provided for the first time child benefit of DM 25 from the third child.

In 1949, the family burden equalization originally only provided support for families through child tax allowances of initially 600 DM. Only families with higher incomes benefited from the tax allowances. A step forward for the families was the introduction of child benefit, initially from the third and from 1961 also for the second child, as well as the gradual increase of the tax-free allowances in the period from 1949 to 1961 to 1,200 DM.

In the 1950s, the model of the provident marriage dominated in the Federal Republic of Germany . The Civil Code stipulated that the wife automatically take her husband's name and that any representation of the child was reserved for the husband. In addition, the man could terminate his wife's job. Here the Civil Code contradicted the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany (GG), which since 1949 has stipulated that men and women have equal rights.

Working women were constantly exposed to criticism. Federal Minister Franz-Josef Wuermeling also said: "A mother at home often replaces cars, music chests and trips abroad."

Bruno Heck (1962–1968)

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Bruno Heck (CDU) was Federal Family Minister from 1962 to 1968 and focused on youth policy and the development of the Franco-German youth organization . Quiet criticism of the role model of women in the family was voiced in the First Family Report (1968). Heck has spoken out in favor of the three-phase model in the life of women: employment until the birth of the first child, family phase and return to gainful employment. As a result, more and more mothers became employed. The discussion about wicked mothers and key children heralded the impending change in the role of women in families. Heck also remained in office in the grand coalition (from 1966), although he resigned in 1968 in preparation for the Bundestag election in order to devote himself entirely to his duties as CDU General Secretary .

Aenne Brauksiepe (1968/1969)

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Aenne Brauksiepe (CDU) was the first woman in this position. She took office for a year before the social-liberal coalition of the SPD and FDP was formed. During her short term in office, Brauksiepe was committed to part-time work for women and all-day schools .

Kate Strobel (1969–1972)

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Käte Strobel (SPD) was Federal Minister from the end of 1969 to 1972. She questioned the validity of the traditional role models for both sexes. Strobel campaigned for a modern role model for women and for the right to personal and professional development of wives and named the emancipation of the individual as the goal of their family policy. The first social democratic federal family minister exposed herself to criticism through a model experiment for child minders. In the early 1970s, more than 35% of mothers with children under the age of 18 were employed, but for many conservatives it still smacked of neglect when a mother also looked after the children of working mothers.

Katharina Focke (1972–1976)

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The journalist Katharina Focke (SPD) was Federal Family Minister from 1972 to 1976. Before that, she was Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Chancellery for women's rights. In 1976 the whole family law was completely reformed. Now men and women were equal in the family. The right to name was also new: in marriage, men and women could freely choose one of the two names. At the same time, the threshold from which the state could intervene in the family in favor of the children was also lowered. The paternal power now turned into parental care and degrading means of upbringing were forbidden. Family courts have now been created. The reform of divorce law in 1977 brought far-reaching changes, especially for women : the question of guilt was now replaced by the principle of disruption. The pension entitlements acquired in the marriage have since been divided in the pension equalization scheme. In 1975 child benefit was also introduced for the first child in the amount of DM 50. Families were supported with new tax exemptions for school-age, training or studying children.

Antje Huber (1976-1982)

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Antje Huber (SPD) completed Focke's work and headed the Federal Ministry from 1976 to 1982. In 1979 she introduced the law on maternity leave of six months with a job policy and protection against dismissal. Since 1980, the state has granted an advance maintenance payment for their children to those parents whose maintenance payment has not been made by the obligated parent. The economic crisis in the early 1980s led to savings; For this reason, the child benefit was reduced by around DM 10. Since Huber did not want to support this, she resigned at the beginning of 1982 after a six-year term in office.

Anke Fuchs (1982)

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Anke Fuchs (SPD) was her successor for half a year until there was a change of government at the beginning of October . She had previously been a civil servant state secretary in the Federal Ministry. As Federal Minister for Family Affairs, she had little time to make a name for herself. She later made a name for herself as Vice President of the German Bundestag.

Heiner Geissler (1982–1985)

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Heiner Geißler (CDU) was in office from 1982 to 1985 and fundamentally changed the equalization of family burdens by reintroducing the child tax allowance in 1983. The uniform child benefit system has been replaced by a dual system of child benefit and child allowance. In addition, the “Mother and Child” foundation was established during his tenure and the possibility of parental leave was created. According to the Federal Education Allowance Act , which came into force in 1986 , working mothers and fathers were also able to take a ten-month break after the birth of their child (three years from 1993) without losing their job. In addition, for the first time they were entitled to an income-dependent federal child-raising allowance of DM 600.

Rita Süssmuth (1985–1988)

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Rita Süssmuth (CDU) headed the Federal Ministry from 1985 to 1988. Under her, the Ministry was expanded to include women's policy. She was particularly committed to women in her role as Federal Minister for Youth, Family, Women and Health. She herself was a university teacher and mother. She promoted the better compatibility of family with other areas of life for both partners. Even if Süssmuth wanted to increase the attractiveness of the family, her family policy should not be limited to married people. During her term of office, three years for child-rearing periods for mothers and fathers were recognized for the first time in the statutory pension insurance, which was measured in the pension entitlement with the average earnings of German citizens.

Ursula Lehr (1988–1991)

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Ursula Lehr was Federal Minister for Youth, Family, Women and Health from 1988 to 1991. Above all, the area of ​​senior policy was expanded by the psychology professor with a focus on aging research. In 1989 she got into harsh controversy with her CDU / CSU parliamentary group when she demanded childcare for children under three and suggested opening so-called crèches. Against the background of the increase in the number of only children, she argued that children need other children to grow up. In the meantime, social history shows how forward-looking Ms. Lehr argued.

Hannelore Rönsch (1991–1994)

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The Federal Ministry was divided after the first all-German federal election in 1990 in early 1991. Hannelore Rönsch (CDU) took over the Federal Ministry for Family and Seniors from 1991 to 1994. Gerda Hasselfeldt took over the Federal Ministry for Health and Angela Merkel took over the Federal Ministry for Women and Youth. In 1992 the child benefit for the first child was increased to 70 DM and the tax-free child allowance per child to 4,104 DM. In addition, on May 27, 1993, after a long debate , the Joint Constitutional Commission approved a new formulation of Article 3, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law, which was incorporated into the Basic Law: “All men and women have equal rights. The state promotes the actual implementation of equality between women and men and works towards the elimination of existing disadvantages ”. After the first all-German federal election, a uniform law on abortion had to be created. In June 1995, a compromise was found with the principle of adherence to the criminal liability of the termination of pregnancy while at the same time laying down rules for exceptional cases.

Angela Merkel (1991-1994)

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Angela Merkel's term of office as Federal Minister for Women and Youth was characterized above all by new beginnings and reforms that resulted from reunification. She was committed to ensuring that women and young people could participate in shaping the unification process and promoted the creation of corresponding association structures in the new federal states. In the field of child and youth welfare, building up youth work in East Germany and promoting free youth associations and youth welfare structures, combating right-wing extremist youth violence and enforcing a legal right to a place in a kindergarten were important to her. An important impetus for German-Polish understanding was given by the establishment of the German-Polish Youth Office in June 1991. The passing of the Equal Opportunities Act and the amendment of Article 3, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law were the most important women’s political projects during Angela Merkel's term of office. The measures anchored in the Equal Opportunities Act ranged from the advancement of women in the federal administration to the first Employee Protection Act and the occupation of public bodies by women and men. The successful struggle for a uniform new regulation of Section 218 of the Criminal Code , as required in the Unification Treaty, was also one of Angela Merkel's great achievements. It also enforced the proportionate consideration of women in employment promotion measures.

Claudia Nolte (1994-1998)

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In 1994 two federal ministries were merged. Claudia Nolte (CDU) became Federal Minister in the newly created Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth . During her term of office, the financial support of families was placed on a different basis: instead of a dual family burden equalization, the solution that is more favorable for them is now used for families. In 1996 the child benefit for the first and second child was increased to 200 DM, for the third and further children to 320 DM; the tax-free child allowance rose to DM 6,264 per child. The right of women in marriage has been strengthened. Marital rape has been a criminal offense since 1997. The reform of child rights in 1998 introduced joint parental rights for married, divorced and unmarried parents. Since then, joint custody of the child has been the rule for married and divorced parents, and joint custody can be agreed for unmarried parents by means of a declaration of custody.

Christine Bergmann (1998-2002)

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After the change of government in 1998, the Berlin Labor Senator Christine Bergmann (SPD) became Federal Minister. It set itself the goal of improving the compatibility of family and work as well as the material situation of families. The child benefit rose in three stages by around 40 euros to 154 euros for the first three children. A new tax exemption for upbringing, care and training of 2,160 euros per child has been introduced. Parental leave became parental leave, which both parents take at the same time and can work up to 30 hours per week per person. The right of children to a non-violent upbringing was enshrined in law. A significantly better consideration of child-rearing periods has been implemented in the statutory pension insurance.

Renate Schmidt (2002-2005)

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During her term of office from 2002 to 2005, Renate Schmidt (SPD) made the concept of a sustainable family policy her trademark. “Germany needs more children” was her principle, from which she derived a coordinated mix of time policy, infrastructure funding and monetary support. Expand infrastructure: The day care law initiated by Renate Schmidt, which came into force at the beginning of 2005, is intended to ensure that 230,000 more places for children under the age of three are created in day-care centers or with child minders in Germany by 2010. For the first time, the law describes standards for the quality of care in facilities and day care. Promoting family-friendly society and the world of work: During her tenure, Renate Schmidt succeeded in forging a broad alliance for the family with well-known personalities from business, companies, trade unions and science. Since the beginning of 2004, politics and companies, associations and trade unions, churches and social institutions have been involved in the nationwide initiative Local Alliances for the Family to make cities and communities more family-friendly. Realign targeted financial benefits: When expanding financial benefits, Schmidt relied on targeted measures that focus primarily on families with precarious incomes, single parents and large families. The child allowance has been supporting low-income parents since 2005. Since the beginning of 2004, a new tax exemption has ensured permanent relief for single parents. It replaces the budget allowance contradicted by the BVerfG.

Ursula von der Leyen (2005-2009)

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In the term of Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) was the Bundeselterngeld- and Elternzeitgesetz a parental allowance for parents created the refrain in the first few months of their child in the exercise of their profession in order to devote himself to the child; at the same time the childcare allowance was replaced with it.

Kristina Schröder (2009-2013)

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Kristina Schröder (CDU) was appointed Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth on November 30, 2009. She moved to after her predecessor, Ursula von der Leyen after the resignation of Franz Josef guys as Secretary to the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs changed. During her term of office, the so-called extremism clause was introduced.

Manuela Schwesig (2013-2017)

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After the federal election in 2013 , the CDU and SPD (as in 2005–2009 ) formed a grand coalition. In the Merkel III cabinet , Manuela Schwesig (* 1974) was the new Federal Minister for this department from December 17, 2013. Due to the resignation of the Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Erwin Sellering , due to illness and the move to Schwerin, Schwesig resigned from her position on June 2, 2017.

Katarina Barley (2017-2018)

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After Manuela Schwesig left the SPD General Secretary Katarina Barley (* 1968) was appointed Federal Minister. In the Merkel IV cabinet , she moved to the Ministry of Justice.

Franziska Giffey (2018-2021)

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After Katarina Barley moved to the Ministry of Justice, Franziska Giffey , previously District Mayor of Berlin-Neukölln, was appointed the new Federal Minister. On May 19, 2021, she submitted her resignation from the ministerial office because of ongoing allegations of plagiarism against her doctoral thesis. She was dismissed by the Federal President on May 20, 2021 .

Christine Lambrecht (since 2021)

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Following the resignation of Franziska Giffey, the Federal President appointed the Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht on May 20, 2021, on the proposal of the Federal Chancellor, in addition to the Minister of Family Affairs.

Parliamentary State Secretaries

Official State Secretaries

See also

Web links

Commons : Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. https://www.bmfsfj.de/bmfsfj/franziska-giffey/122560
  2. BMFSFJ house management. Retrieved May 20, 2021 .
  3. Bundeshaushalt.de: www.Bundeshaushalt.de. Retrieved August 30, 2019 .
  4. ↑ List of Abbreviations. (PDF; 49 kB) Abbreviations for the constitutional bodies, the highest federal authorities and the highest federal courts. In: bund.de. Federal Office of Administration (BVA), accessed on August 14, 2016 .