German professional association for social work

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German Professional Association for Social Work eV
legal form registered association
founding 1994
Seat Berlin
purpose labor union
Chair Michael Leinenbach (1st Chair) ,
Gabriele Stark-Angermeier (2nd Chair)
Members about 6,000

The German Professional Association for Social Work (DBSH), with almost 6,000 members (as of September 2015), is the largest professional association for social work in Germany and represents social workers and social pedagogues. The professional association is based in Berlin .

Professional association and collective bargaining union

Almost 6,000 qualified social pedagogues and qualified social workers ( after the Bologna reform, social pedagogues / social workers BA or MA ) are members of the DBSH. However, the DBSH is also a graduate special educators , teachers , supervisors , Heilerziehungspflegern and graduate educators open. It is a professional association and a trade union at the same time , actively campaigns for the professionalization of social work, tries to influence social development and supports its members in questions of labor law and industrial action.

The association is a member and one of more than 50 supporting organizations of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) . Furthermore, the DBSH is a member union of the dbb tarifunion , within which it participates in collective bargaining. As a union, the DBSH has founded a commission (Bundestarifkommission (BTK)), in which the state tariff and legal protection officers of the professional association are brought together in accordance with the statutes. In addition to representing the DBSH as a union, the BTK also provides services for its members within the framework of the DBSH's legal protection regulations.

The professional association maintains the DBSH institute as its own training institute . The purpose of the institute is to promote social work in professionalization, science, teaching, politics and practice. Furthermore, the DBSH issues position papers on ethical guidelines for professional social work and publishes a. a. on the subjects of basics, key competencies and (university) training in social work. The DBSH, together with the Faculty Day for Social Work (FBTS) , awards the annual sponsorship prize for outstanding theses in the field of social work and curative education. In addition, he regularly organizes specialist conferences and congresses such as the 1st Professional Congress for Social Work in Cologne in 2008 and the Ethics Symposium in Saarbrücken in 2010 . The DBSH cooperates with various professional associations and societies such as the German Association for Social Work in Health Care (DVSG) , the professional and specialist association for curative education (BHP) , the Systemic Society (SG) and the German Society for Social Work (DGSA) .

The number of members of the DBSH has increased, but the proportion of social workers organized in the DBSH is low compared to the American social work association NASW (National Association of Social Workers). This is unusual because trade unions traditionally have a significantly higher priority in Germany than in the USA . The DBSH is subdivided into state and district associations.


The DBSH was founded in 1994 from the merger of the two pre-existing professional associations:

The DBS, in turn, dates back to 1926, when it was founded as DVS ( German Association of Social Officers ). In 1950 the name was changed to DBS. The BSH was formed in 1978 from pre-existing associations and clubs, some of which also date back to before the Second World War. Before this merger to form a German unified association, only the DBS had been a member of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) since 1956. After negotiations between DBS and BSH, both associations had been represented and active in IFSW by a working group (DARGE) since 1990 for the purpose of international representation. The first chairman of the DBSH board has been Michael Leinenbach since 2003. The executive board of the DBSH works on a voluntary basis. Until 2009 the seat of the DBSH was in Essen .

Trade journal

The DBSH's publication organ is the quarterly magazine Forum SOZIAL . With a circulation of 7,500 copies (as of 03/2010), it is one of the highest-circulation specialist journals for social work in Germany and thus the journal that reaches most practitioners in social work directly. The editing is subject to Wilfried Nodes.

Professional register for social work

The DBSH has been operating a professional register for social work (BSA) since 2002 . The association wants the professional register to be understood as the "contribution of the DBSH to quality assurance" in social work.

Registration in the professional register for social work is basically voluntary and requires a (technical) university degree as a minimum qualification , which qualifies for an activity in the fields of social work. Registration in the professional register is linked to the obligation to provide evidence of regularly attended professional training courses at least every five years .

The idea of ​​the professional register is not new and exists in a similar form in other nations (see USA or Netherlands ). Such a register also qualifies graduated social workers after their studies so that they can work in practice. Registered (skilled) social workers in these countries demonstrate to their clients and customers that they are constantly expanding their personal and professional skills in order to provide the best possible service with and for the addressees.

The German professional register of the DBSH gives the title addition rBSA - registered in the professional register for social work - if social workers and social pedagogues register. So far, however, little use has been made of this option in Germany, so that registration with social work professionals is rather rare.

Currently (as of September 2015), fewer than 100 skilled workers across Germany advertise with their registration in the BSA. More than half of them are self-employed.

Web links


  2. z. B. Brochure - Basics for the work of the DBSH: Archive link ( Memento from June 14, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) / Key competencies in social work: Archive link ( Memento from March 30, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) / Master’s courses in Social Work: Archive link ( Memento dated December 6, 2010 in the Internet Archive )