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Care refers to the voluntary or legally obligatory care for other persons or groups of persons . Derived from this, care denotes the care to which people have a right under certain circumstances and also denotes the system of public welfare that has grown out of the ethics of mercy or the practice of almsgiving .


The word care comes from mhd. Vür-sorge , borrowed from the Latin prōcūrātĭo (in Latin prō-cūrāre "to take care of something; to maintain; manage"). Linguistic expresses concern about the future. If the voluntary care becomes a legal obligation , one speaks of the care obligation .

Care as an individual right

Article II-84 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union lays down children's rights , in particular: Children are entitled to the protection and care necessary for their well-being.

People, time for child care and - education spending or for dependents ensure family members are referred to as "persons with caring responsibilities". The twelfth section of the Criminal Code of the Federal Republic of Germany (offenses against civil status, marriage and the family) provides for the violation of the duty of care or upbringing ( Section 171 of the Criminal Code), a crime punishable by up to three years imprisonment.

Public welfare

Called care

  • In the Federal Republic of Germany, public welfare within the meaning of Article 74, Paragraph 1, No. 7 of the Basic Law, which, in contrast to contribution-financed social insurance, provides certain social benefits in a life situation associated with particular burdens ( need for assistance ).
  • In Austria the legal term of custody , but also social welfare .
  • In Switzerland , social assistance benefits and the offices that distribute them are still officially referred to as welfare today - see Social Assistance (Switzerland) .
  • Social welfare was the name of the last living wage in the GDR . It was still very important in the 1950s to 60s, but it fell continuously until the end, especially because of the commitment to the labor administration (compulsory work). In 1989 only around 5500 citizens received this benefit.

Facilities of welfare

Caring Ethics

In a discussion with Lawrence Kohlberg, the psychologist Carol Gilligan developed the theory that there is a genuinely female morality that emphasizes care. This was the term ethics of care ( care ethics discussed wide).

See also


  • Wolfgang Ayaß : "Asocial" in National Socialism , Stuttgart 1995.
  • Esther Lehnert: The participation of welfare workers in the formation and implementation of the “inferior” category under National Socialism: public welfare workers in Berlin and Hamburg in the field of tension between selection and “eliminations” . Mabuse, Frankfurt am Main 2003.
  • Christoph Sachße, Florian Tennstedt (Hrsg.): History of the poor welfare in Germany .
    • Vol. 1, From the late Middle Ages to the First World War . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1998, 2nd edition.
    • Vol. 2, Welfare and Welfare Care 1871 to 1929 . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1988
    • Vol. 3, The Welfare State under National Socialism . Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1992
    • Vol. 4, Welfare and Welfare Care in the Post-War Period 1945-1953 , Stuttgart 2012.
  • Desiree Schauz: The care of offenders in the empire: A critical balance . In: Jürgen W. Schmidt (ed.): Police in Prussia in the 19th century . Ludwigsfelder Verlagshaus, Ludwigsfelde 2011, ISBN 978-3-933022-66-0 , pp. 116–128.
  • Leibfried, Stephan, Lutz Leisering and others: Time of poverty. CVs in the welfare state . Frankfurt 1995, ISBN 3518119230 .

Web links

Wiktionary: care  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: caring  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Book review on: Julia Thiesbonenkamp-Maag, Like a source in the desert. Care and self-care at the Filipino charismatic group El Shaddai in Frankfurt , Berlin: Reimer, 2014.
  2. Gerhard Köbler , Etymological Legal Dictionary , 1995, p. 141
  3. BVerfG, judgment of July 21, 2015 - 1 BvF 2/13 para. 29 (on the Care Allowance Act ).
  4. ^ Stephan Leibfried / Lutz Leisering, Was there poverty in the GDR? , Frankfurt 1995, p. 251 ff.
  5. ^ Norbert Kühne : Early development and upbringing - The critical period, in: Teaching materials Pedagogy - Psychology, No. 694, Stark Verlag, Hallbergmoos.