Child and youth welfare in Germany

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Among Children and Youth Services (sometimes even youth services ; former youth welfare ) are in Germany all the benefits and responsibilities of public and independent organizations together for the benefit of young people and their families. These were newly compiled and fundamentally revised in Book Eight of the Social Code (SGB VIII) of June 26, 1990. Since then, SGB VIII has seen a number of changes and new versions.

Reorganization of youth welfare

The Federal Ministry for Family and Youth under Rita Süssmuth was the late 1980s responsible for the later similarly adopted child and youth welfare law - draft . In Section 1, Paragraph 1, Eighth Book (VIII): Child and Youth Welfare - E it said: "Every young person has the right to support his development and to be educated to become an independent and socially capable personality." The approach of youth welfare practice has increased shifted from interventions in the family, which are connected with the separation of the child from its parents, to open and preventive work. The Youth Welfare Act - in its approach based on a police and regulatory viewpoint - did not take part in this change in the perspective of youth welfare. In accordance with the constitutional requirements, the draft law now assigns youth welfare a role that supports the upbringing of parents. In the face of increased demands and in view of social changes, families need various forms of relief, support and encouragement to cope with their tasks.

Addressees of child and youth welfare

The child and youth welfare is based on § 6 Abs. 1 SGB VIII to young people as well as to mothers, fathers and legal guardians of children and adolescents.

According to the definitions in § 7 SGB ​​VIII:

  • Children under 14 years old; with regard to parental custody acc. Article 6, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law and the adoption as a child under 18 years of age (Section 7, Paragraph 1, No. 1, Paragraph 2 and Paragraph 4 of Book VIII of the Social Code)
  • Young people between 14 and under 18 years old, Section 7 (1) No. 2 SGB VIII
  • young adults 18, but under 27 years old, Section 7 (1) No. 3 SGB VIII
  • young people under 27 years of age, Section 7 Paragraph 1 No. 4 SGB VIII
  • Legal guardians who, alone or together with another person, are entitled to custody according to the provisions of the German Civil Code , Section 7 (1) No. 5 SGB VIII
  • Legal guardians of the legal guardian and any other person over 18 years of age, insofar as they perform personal custody tasks on the basis of an agreement with the legal guardian not only temporarily and not only for individual tasks, Section 7 Paragraph 1 No. 6 SGB VIII

Help for young adults

Age of majority and youth welfare services

After a change in the law, the age of majority was reduced from the completion of the 21st to the completion of the 18th year of age with effect from January 1, 1975 ( § 2 BGB). The new version of the Youth Welfare Act of April 25, 1977 took this change into account by extending certain educational aids to people over the age of 18 or granting them beyond the age of majority (Section 5 (1) sentence 2, 6 para. 3, 75a JWG 1977). However, the assistance could not be granted for the first time after reaching the age of majority, but only continued beyond the age of majority if it had started beforehand. It was already evident in the 1970s that a number of young people could not easily achieve the goal of becoming self-employed three years earlier.

Section 40 of the draft youth welfare law

In the case of young adults who can only begin vocational training after they have reached the age of 18 or who then lose their training place, Section 40 (1) sentence 1 established a performance obligation (target performance) if there would otherwise be a risk to further development . It had proven to be inadequate to make the continuation of a school or vocational training measure, including vocational preparation, dependent on the fact that it was started before the age of 18. Since young people's independence was being delayed for various reasons, Section 40 (1) sentence 2 also provided in certain cases the possibility of continuing the assistance beyond the age of 21. Such a break in the strict continuation character is intended for young adults who are released from inpatient psychiatric treatment or from custodial measures (arrest, youth penalty, imprisonment) according to the provisions of the Juvenile Court Act or the Criminal Code. They would be put on an equal footing with young people who received educational help up to the age of 18.


The statutory regulation, which then followed in Section 41 of Book VIII of the Social Code, differs from the previous regulations (Section 6, Paragraph 3, Section 75 a RJWG) in three respects:

  1. Help for young adults is no longer just designed as continuation help, but is also given for the first time after reaching the age of 18,
  2. the granting of benefits is decoupled from an ongoing training measure,
  3. the legal obligation is upgraded from an “can rule” to a “target rule” and thus to a so-called legal right.

After reaching the age of 21, help according to § 41 SGB VIII can no longer be started. The assistance should, however, be continued “in justified individual cases” beyond the age of 21 (Section 41, Paragraph 1, Clause 2 of Book VIII of the Social Code).

Tasks of child and youth welfare

The tasks of child and youth welfare , as a social and socio-educational practice, result from its legal basis, the Child and Youth Welfare Act in Book VIII of the Social Code. The legal goals and values ​​are described in Section 1 of Book VIII of the Social Code.

According to this, the youth welfare service has the task of contributing to the realization of the right of children and adolescents to promote their development and to bring up people who are responsible and capable of community. Furthermore, it should support the reduction of disadvantages and the creation or maintenance of positive living conditions for young people and their families. The basis is: Parents have the central right and duty to raise and care for their children. The state community ensures that the rights of children are guaranteed ( Article 6 of the Basic Law ).

According to the main tasks, a general distinction is made between:

  • General support tasks that generally apply to all children, young people and families (e.g. kindergartens, youth work, individual support for individual children / young people, e.g. learning aids)
  • directly helping tasks that are more geared towards specific requirements, problem areas or target groups (e.g. advice, individual care, accommodation, protection of minors, taking into care ).
  • political tasks (e.g. planning obligation, interference)

SGB ​​VIII lists the tasks (generic term) in Section 2 SGB ​​VIII and distinguishes between services (second chapter - Sections 11 to 41 SGB ​​VIII) and other tasks (third chapter - Sections 42 to 60 SGB ​​VIII). The second chapter contains the socio-educational services, while the third chapter contains the more regulatory-oriented part, the so-called sovereign tasks.


Services youth services are:

Other tasks

So-called other tasks of youth welfare are z. B .:


The sponsorships of youth welfare are divided into public ( youth welfare offices , state youth welfare offices ) and independent organizations ( youth and welfare associations ).

Youth welfare services are predominantly provided by independent organizations . As central associations of independent welfare, the large independent organizations have a special, legally recognized status and have a corresponding influence on the federal social policy. They include:

In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity , when performing youth welfare tasks, independent organizations are generally given priority over public youth welfare organizations. According to this, independent organizations should take on tasks where they equally meet the technical requirements for the respective services. What is wanted is a diverse sponsoring landscape in which different value orientations as well as diverse content, methods and forms of work are offered ( Section 3 of Book VIII of the Social Code).

The fulfillment of the other tasks listed in the third chapter of SGB VIII is almost exclusively the responsibility of public youth welfare . These are mostly so-called sovereign tasks, because certain legally prescribed regulatory elements are to be implemented. Apart from a few special exceptions, independent organizations regularly have no field of activity in accordance with Section 3 (3) SGB VIII.

The public youth welfare organization also has the obligation to take overall responsibility for the fulfillment of the tasks as provided for in the Child and Youth Welfare Act. It is mostly responsible for sovereign, planning and controlling tasks. In addition, by financing the independent organizations, it guarantees their offers and services.

Independent and public sponsors are obliged to work together as partners and systematically.

Some beneficiaries have a legal right to some youth welfare services - such as help with upbringing or child day care . Legal claims and performance obligations are directed against the local public youth welfare organizations . These are mostly the youth welfare offices of the districts and independent cities . The federal states are mostly supra-local carriers . Other services (such as youth leisure offers according to § 11) are legally required program tasks (so in the event of a complaint the youth welfare committee would have to check whether the commune in question is even taking care of youth work / youth promotion), but there is no individual, actionable legal claim.

A special feature of child and youth welfare - and in this form unique in the administrative structure of the Federal Republic - is the twofold structure of the youth welfare office. It consists of the administration of the youth welfare office and the youth welfare committee , 2/5 of which is made up of representatives of the independent organizations and 3/5 of representatives of the local parliament. Theoretically, citizens are thus directly involved in the essential decisions of child and youth welfare.

Networking and collaboration

Just as the municipal bodies are grouped together in state and federal associations ( Deutscher Landkreistag , Deutscher Städtetag ), this also applies to independent bodies; they have i. d. R. their district, state and federal associations. The above Independent organizations recognized by law are united at the state and federal level in the league of central associations for voluntary welfare . The working group for child and youth welfare is an association at federal level, which includes the league of central associations, the youth associations and regional youth associations, the specialist organizations and the regional youth ministries and regional youth welfare offices . The German Association for Public and Private Welfare in Berlin is an association of independent and public sponsors .

Negative certificate

In the case of child and youth welfare, the decisive criterion is whether or not there are entries in the care register at the childbirth office ( Section 87c (6) sentence 2 SGB VIII) for the child specified in the application about custody declarations or court decisions on the transfer of joint parental responsibility . If there are no such entries, the mother of the child receives a negative clearance from the youth welfare office of habitual residence ( Section 87c, Paragraph 6, Sentence 1, SGB VIII) on this fact. This certificate is of great importance in legal transactions. The official certificate also has an external effect when presented to third parties ; so require z. B. authorities , credit institutes , kindergartens , schools , doctors , etc. a factual indication that the parents are not jointly entitled to parental custody, and the mother is thus presumably authorized to make sole decisions in child matters and to represent the child alone.

See also


  • Sören Asmussen: Organizational research in day care centers Wiesbaden 2019
  • Manfred Günther: Almost everything that is right for young people . Berlin 2003; 4th, completely changed edition: Everything that young people are entitled to , illustration by Klaus Stuttmann , foreword by Sigrun von Hasseln-Grindel , Berlin 2019, ISBN 3-924041-23-7 .
  • Manfred Günther : Help! Youth welfare. 528 pages, foreword by Jörg M. Fegert , Rheine 2018: ISBN 978-3-946537-55-7
  • Manfred Günther: youth welfare law ; Springer Wiesbaden, October 2019
  • Hartnuß / Maykus (ed.): Handbook for cooperation between youth welfare and school ; 1225 pages. German Association, Berlin 2004
  • Hentschel / Krüger / Schmidt / Stange (eds.): Youth welfare and school ; VS Wiesbaden 2008
  • Youth welfare . Magazine since 1963; 1990 ff. Cologne. ISSN  0022-5940
  • Macsenaere / Esser / Knab / Hiller (eds.): Handbook of help for education ; 107 authors, 624 pages
  • Klaus Menne : Educational Advice , Weinheim 2017
  • Winfried Möller: SGB ​​VIII child and youth welfare , comment. 2017
  • Johannes Münder : Frankfurt Commentary on SGB VIII , Baden-Baden 2019
  • Dirk Nüsken: Institutionalization of upbringing and professionalization in inpatient youth welfare, in: PädagogikUnterricht 01/2020, Wesel, ISSN 0176-179X, pp. 4–21
  • Münder / Trenczek: Child and Youth Welfare Law (7th) Stuttgart 2015
  • Rätz-Heinisch / Schröer / Wolff: Textbook child and youth welfare. Basics, fields of action, structures and perspectives. Weinheim and Munich 2009
  • Christian Sachse: The final touch. Youth welfare of the GDR in the service of disciplining children and young people (1949-1989); Ed .: The State Commissioner for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for the documents of the State Security Service of the former GDR, Schwerin 2011; ISBN 978-3-933255-35-8
  • Reinhard Wiesner : SGB ​​VIII - Child and Youth Welfare; Comment . Beck, Munich 2011.
  • Michael Wutzler: Child welfare and the order of care. Dimensions, problematizations, case dynamics. Beltz Juventa, Weinheim 2019.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. cf. Youth welfare and family - the development of family support services of youth welfare and their perspectives - Seventh Youth Report BT-Drs. 10/6730 of December 10, 1986
  2. cf. Draft by the federal government of a law to reorganize child and youth welfare law (Child and Youth Welfare Act - KJHG) BT-Drs. 11/5948 of December 1, 1989, p. 41 ff.
  3. Art. 1 No. 1 of the law regulating the age of majority, Federal Law Gazette I p. 1713
  4. BGBl. I p. 633
  5. Nicole Rosenbauer, Ulli Schiller: Youth welfare for young adults - insights into the practice of § 41 SGB VIII in the triangle of need, granting of help and difficulties in implementing youth social work, April 2016
  6. Reinhard Wiesner : Help for young adults. Legal starting situation Expertise in the project “What comes after the inpatient educational assistance? - Care Leaver in Germany ", Frankfurt am Main 2014, p. 9
  7. cf. Draft by the federal government of a law to reorganize child and youth welfare law (Child and Youth Welfare Act - KJHG) BT-Drs. 11/5948 of December 1, 1989, p. 78 f.
  8. Reinhard Wiesner: SGB ​​VIII. Child and Youth Welfare, Commentary, § 41 Rn. 25th
  9. VG Berlin, decision of August 24, 2007 - VG 18 A 205.07 for the case of pronounced emotional disorders in adolescence, reactive attachment disorders and combined circumscribed developmental disorders