The Youth Welfare Office – “Jugendamt” in German – is an agency responsible and available for providing advice and support for the needs of children, teenagers, families and expectant parents. There is a wide range of forms of help to deal with challenging situations.
You can find local youth welfare offices in the adress box.
Your child owes rights that are laid down in the law. You have to make sure that your child is always taken care of and feeling good. Your child needs to be loved and be taken care of. That means, for example, your child must always have enough to eat and to drink, it must have enough time to play and nobody must hurt your child. Children’s rights exist to make sure all children become healthy adults. This is also called “child welfare” – in German “Kindeswohl”.
Unfortunately, there are also children who are feeling good at home. They do not feel well because, for instance, their parents do not care too much for them or their parents feel overwhelmed. There is an authority that is supposed to help and take care of the situation, the Youth Welfare Office – in German called “Jugendamt”. At this office, many people are busy to make neglected children feel better. Unfortunately, there are also children who are suffering violence at home. Violence can be physically or emotionally. In such harmful cases, the Youth Welfare Office has to intervene rapidly. Therefore, witnesses can inform the Youth Welfare Office. For example, employees of kindergartens or schools but also family members and friends can report conspicuous observance to the Youth Welfare Office. This report can also be done without telling your own name – so-called anonymously. These endangering situations for children are named as endangerment of the child’s welfare- in German “Gefährdung des Kindeswohls”.
It might be the case that parents obviously need help with upbringing, but they do not want to get help. In rare cases, the situation will be handled in court and the support for the family might be given against the will of the parents. But whenever possible, the Youth Welfare Office tries to work together with the parents for the interests of the children and is interested in a good connection to them. The employees are sensitive in their communication and their aim is to search for solutions together with you as parents.
You can find your contact persons at the regional Youth Welfare Office to support you in the adress box.