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Historically, the concept of welfare partially overlaps with the concepts of poor relief , welfare and social work . In the 19th century, the Elberfeld system developed with strict control of those supported by so-called poor carers (one carer for four arms), which was replaced around 1900 by the Strasbourg system , in which women were also employed as carers (welfare workers). Her training took place from around 1908 in women's social schools.

Welfare care in the Weimar Republic

Welfare care in the Weimar Republic was divided into economic, health and youth welfare care, some of which overlapped. The people for whom the state welfare offices and district welfare associations as well as the district-free cities were responsible included pregnant women, women who have recently given birth, infants and toddlers, malnourished children and the physically disabled, among whom the war invalids (war invalids, severely war invalids) had a special position, as well as neglected children, girls at risk, Drinkers, those released from prison, sexually ill, tuberculosis sufferers, petty pensioners and the unemployed.

According to the sponsors, a distinction was made between free welfare (mostly denominational, but also Arbeiterwohlfahrt or Red Aid Germany for victims of war and work) and official welfare. The women's social schools were renamed welfare schools.


  • Christoph Sachße, Florian Tennstedt : History of poor relief in Germany. 4 volumes. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1980–2012: