State Welfare Association of Hesse

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State Welfare Association of Hesse

State level Communal
position Higher municipal association
legal form Public corporation
Supervisory authority Hessian Ministry of the Interior and for Sport
founding May 7, 1953
Headquarters Kassel , Hesse
Authority management Susanne Selbert , Country Director
Servants 1,374.5 positions (as of 2018)
Budget volume 2.044 billion euros (as of 2018)
Web presence
official coat of arms
The headquarters in the Ständehaus in Kassel

The State Welfare Association of Hesse (LWV) is an amalgamation of the districts and independent cities in Hesse , to which a number of social tasks have been assigned. It is a corporation under public law . The LWV has its headquarters in Kassel . Regional administrations exist in Kassel, Darmstadt and Wiesbaden.


Garage of the “gray buses” that were used to bring people to the killing center. Today part of the memorial.

During the time of National Socialism , the legal predecessors of the State Welfare Association of Hesse (see in the following paragraph "History") controlled the excesses of racial hygiene ideas. This is where the murder of tens of thousands of mentally ill people was administered.

The legal predecessor was also the operator of the Breitenau workhouse from 1874 to 1949 , which housed an early concentration camp in 1933/34 and a labor education camp from 1940 to 1945. Therefore, when it was founded in 1953, the State Welfare Association of Hesse took on a difficult historical legacy by taking over institutions that were involved in the National Socialist crimes. Lost trust in public welfare had to be re-established. Hospitals and psychiatric institutions were realigned according to humanitarian and welfare state principles. The permanent memory of the victims of Nazi “euthanasia” ( Action T4 ) is both a mission and a concern of the LWV. The Hadamar Memorial, which was one of six killing centers from 1941 to 1945, is of particular importance.


On May 7, 1953, the Hessian Landtag passed the "Law on the Middle Level of Administration and the State Welfare Association of Hesse". This law transferred tasks and assets to the LWV Hessen which had previously been assigned to the state of Hessen-Darmstadt and the two district associations of Kassel and Wiesbaden , founded in the Prussian province of Hessen-Nassau in 1886 . As a structural policy decision for the economically weaker north of the state, the choice of Kassel as the headquarters of the association is considered. Branch administrations were set up in Darmstadt and Wiesbaden. Hermann Schaub (SPD) was elected as the first director of the LWV and Friedrich Stöffler (CDU) as his deputy . In the first few years after its founding, the LWV was primarily concerned with raising the level of care for sick and disabled people in need throughout Hesse to a level that was consistent with the times. Another focus of services after the Second World War was the welfare of war victims and survivors, for which the main welfare office was responsible.

One aim of the LWV was to support severely disabled people so that they could return to work in suitable jobs. In the following period the buildings of the LWV facilities were repaired and in many cases expanded. New modern hospital wards were created. The so-called Psychiatry Enquête triggered extensive changes from 1975 onwards . The community psychiatry network was set up and inpatient offers supplemented by semi-inpatient and outpatient assistance.

Since it was founded in 1953, the LWV has supported nine children's and youth homes, including a. the Kalmenhof and the “Fuldatal” children's home for girls . Until 1973, when the last closed facility was closed, the children and adolescents there were often exposed to physical and psychological violence. The measures ranged from beatings to food deprivation to imprisonment in isolation cells equipped with wooden beds without mattresses. It was only through the commitment of members of the extra-parliamentary opposition , among them Ulrike Meinhof , that there were changes and ultimately closings. In 2006, the association's assembly apologized to those affected.

In 1993 the association assembly of the LWV adopted operating statutes for the self-managed hospitals . In 1998, LWV's own operations were further optimized. They were combined to form centers for social psychiatry, while the youth homes developed in regional associations to form social pedagogical centers. In 1997 the LWV adopted a model for its work. The structural reforms in the health care system resulted in further corporate strategic decisions: On January 1, 2008, the newly founded LWV-Gesundheitsmanagement GmbH took over entrepreneurial responsibility for more than 30 specialized clinics. LWV Hessen put the twelve non-profit subsidiaries under the umbrella of a holding company, LWV Gesundheitsmanagement GmbH. The holding company has been operating under the name Vitos GmbH since March 2009 . Since then, the subsidiaries and their branches have also shared the common name Vitos. The LWV Hessen remains the sole shareholder of Vitos GmbH.


Regional provider of integration assistance

A growing number of people with disabilities in Hesse are entitled to help with coping with everyday life. It is called integration assistance and is regulated in the Social Code (SGB) IX. In Hesse, the LWV is responsible for this in most cases. The aim is for disabled people to live as independently and self-determinedly as possible. As far as possible, they should be able to take part in social life in their community or neighborhood. In the past few years, the LWV has made greater efforts to ensure that people with disabilities receive support within their own four walls ( assisted living ). The LWV is also the point of contact for people who live in dormitories, are cared for in day care centers and / or work in workshops for disabled people . These offers are also financed by the LWV.

Integration office for severely disabled people at work

The integration office of the LWV is a partner for over 90,000 working disabled people in Hessen and their employers. Jobs for people with severe disabilities are secured and created through the use of the equalization levy in accordance with Book IX of the Social Code (SGB IX). It is due when companies employ fewer than 5% severely disabled people and is available for companies that set up such jobs. Here the LWV primarily supports companies in the primary labor market .

War Victims Welfare (Main Welfare Office)

A separate department looks after war victims, military and civil service victims, victims of vaccinations and victims of violence as well as their family members and survivors living in Hesse . It is the task of the main welfare office at LWV to support these people in all situations through personal and financial help.

School board

The LWV is the sponsor of 13 supraregional special needs schools and five early intervention centers in Hesse. The aim is to support children and young people in such a way that handicap-related disadvantages are compensated as far as possible. In Bad Camberg , Homberg / Efze , Friedberg and Frankfurt are hearing-impaired children and young people informed, in Homberg / Efze and Friedberg blind and visually impaired children and youth. Schools are boarding schools affiliated with (except Frankfurt) and early intervention centers. In Idstein and Wabern there are schools for educational assistance and the sick. There pupils who need special educational offers are taught. The psychiatric clinics for children and adolescents are affiliated with schools for the sick, which the young patients visit during their stay in the clinic.

Archives, memorials and historical collections department

The LWV has had its own public archive since 1986. Its task is to take over historically and legally significant documents from the offices and facilities of the LWV and Vitos gGmbH, to make them accessible to the public. The LWV archive currently looks after around 6,000 running meters of files. There are also 20,000 photographs and 4,000 maps and plans. The documents go back to the early 16th century, the time of the Reformation, and currently go back to the 1980s. The focus is on the Hessian high hospitals, the psychiatric history of the 19th and 20th centuries, the euthanasia crimes of the National Socialists in Hessian and Nassau institutions as well as the history of youth homes and educational assistance in the 1950s and 1960s. The LWV archive, together with the Hadamar Memorial, forms the archive, memorials and historical collections department within the administration of the State Welfare Association .

Sole shareholder of Vitos GmbH

The Vitos GmbH is a company of the ARF and its business has taken on January 1 of 2008. The GmbH is one of the largest clinic operators in Germany and is the largest provider in the field of outpatient, partial inpatient and fully inpatient treatment of mentally ill people in Hesse. With 12 subsidiaries, it has psychiatric and psychotherapeutic clinics for adults, children and adolescents as well as clinics for forensic (judicial) psychiatry, in which mentally ill offenders are treated. The holding company also owns two specialist clinics for neurology and orthopedics. In addition, Vitos GmbH runs other facilities for people with mental or emotional disabilities, a wide range of housing and funding options and two youth welfare facilities. Around 9,000 employees treat and care for around 140,000 inpatients and residents. The group has a total of 5,272 beds and places.


The Association Assembly - The "Hessian Social Parliament"

Allocation of seats in the association assembly
A total of 75 seats

The Association Assembly (VV) is the highest decision-making body of the LWV Hessen and normally meets four times a year. A total of 75 members are elected by the district councils of the districts or the city councils of the independent cities in five electoral districts with fifteen members each for five years. The 16th electoral period began on November 1st, 2016. Friedel Kopp (Free Voters) was elected President of the 16th Association Assembly.

The management committee

The Administrative Committee is the executive body of the LWV. It has three full-time members and 14 honorary councilors who are elected by the association assembly. The chairman is the state director Susanne Selbert , her deputy is the first councilor Andreas Jürgens . The position of the additional full-time alderman created from 2018 is filled by Dieter Schütz.

The full-points are to Grade 8 (Country Director) grade B 7 (first Assistant) or grade B 6 (more full-time Assistant) the B grade Procedure B compensated.

The budget

The tasks of the LWV are primarily financed by the Hessian districts and independent cities. They bear the support services for people with disabilities through the so-called association levy. The LWV received 1.37 billion euros from the association levy in 2017. Further income of the LWV comes from the municipal financial equalization, the equalization levy of Hessian companies and the war victims welfare. The LWV is reimbursed a small part of its expenses for supra-local social assistance, for example from pension and accident insurance institutions, health insurances and professional associations. The 2018 LWV budget had a volume of around EUR 2.0 billion. The largest part (1.8 billion euros) flows into benefits from supra-local social assistance.

Political discussion

The LWV has been in the political arena for years. The financing by the districts according to their financial strength is particularly controversial. As a result, the financially strong southern Hessian districts have a higher share of the financing compared to the poorer northern Hessian districts. While proponents welcome this as part of a financial equalization between the districts, opponents call for the LWV to be dissolved or reduced and the tasks to be shifted to the districts. The medium-term increasing financial requirements of the LWV contribute to this discussion.

The cooperation between the CDU, FDP and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen ( Jamaica coalition ) in the association created a strong public profile, which led to a black-green occupation of the top positions.


  • Jens Flemming , Christina Vanja (eds.): “This house is built democracy”. The Ständehaus in Kassel and its parliamentary tradition. Kassel 2007, ISBN 978-3-933617-30-9 ( Historical series of publications by the State Welfare Association of Hesse: Sources and Studies. 13).
  • Irmgard Gaertner: Memorandum on the future of the State Welfare Association of Hesse. Kassel 1991, ISBN 3-89203-019-7 .
  • Gisela Heimbach: State Welfare Association Hesse. Kassel 1995, ISBN 3-89203-030-8 .
  • State Welfare Association Hessen: The psychiatric hospitals and clinics for child and adolescent psychiatry of the State Welfare Association Hessen. A look back at the IX. Electoral period of the Association Assembly 1985–1989. Kassel 1990, ISBN 3-89203-012-X .
  • Peter Sandner: 50 years of the State Welfare Association of Hesse. 1953-2003. Illustrated Chronicle. Kassel 2003, ISBN 3-89203-045-6 .
  • Bernd Schieferstein: The perception of supra-local social welfare tasks by higher municipal associations. Using the example of the State Welfare Association of Hesse. Frankfurt am Main 1992, ISBN 3-631-45373-6 ( European university publications . Series 2: Law. 1294).

Web links

Commons : Landeswohlfahrtsverband Hessen  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Budget 2018 Landeswohlfahrtsverband Hessen (PDF), accessed on March 1, 2019.
  2. See Wolfgang Ayaß : Das Arbeitshaus Breitenau. Beggars, vagrants, prostitutes, pimps and welfare recipients in the correctional and rural poor institution in Breitenau (1874–1949). , Kassel 1992.
  3. Peter Wensierski: Strikes in the name of the Lord . 3. Edition. Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag, Munich, ISBN 978-3-442-12974-4 .
  4. Breitenau Memorial: The “Fuldatal” children's home. Retrieved April 9, 2018 .
  5. ^ LWV Hessen: Home education 1953 to 1973 in facilities of the LWV Hessen (PDF; 400 kB). Retrieved April 9, 2018
  6. § 4 Ordinance on remuneration, compensation for service expenses and flat-rate travel expenses for full-time municipal electoral officers (KomBesDAV)
  7. PM of the LWV Hessen Dec. 2005 ( Memento of the original from December 24th 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /