The Youth Welfare Office supports parents in raising their children. At the same time, the authority also helps children and young people who are in need, for example because their parents are not able to look after them properly. Youth Welfare Offices are part of the administration, they exist in all districts and large cities. However, the offices also generally help to create a family-friendly environment, for example by offering recreational activities for children and young people. In Tübingen, Mössingen and Rottenburg, the district offers parents and children special family counselling centres where parents and children can get advice and help. Detailed information can be found on the website of the district office:
Youth Welfare Offices help parents with small children aged 0-3 years to find their way in their new life with “Early Help”. In addition, the offices offer general family counselling, youth counselling, crisis and emergency counselling. The staff also support delinquent young people and their parents and help with guardianship and adoption issues. Youth welfare offices are there for all people, regardless of their residence status or nationality.
However, youth welfare offices also protect children and young people from their parents if necessary. This applies, for example, if parents leave their young children alone or do not care enough for them. The Youth Welfare Office also becomes active when children or young people experience violence. In Germany, it is forbidden to beat one’s children. In difficult cases, youth welfare offices can therefore also ensure that children are temporarily placed in foster families or a residential group to protect them. Children and adolescents who have problems they cannot cope with on their own can—independently of the youth welfare office—also contact the Europe-wide hotline at 116111. In the district of Tübingen, the family counselling centres offer independent counselling appointments to adolescents and young adults.
Extensive information on the work of the youth welfare offices is available on the homepage of the Federal Working Group of the State Youth Welfare Offices. The brochures are also available in Arabic and Ukrainian, among other languages.
Das Jugendamt für den Landkreis Tübingen befindet sich im Landratsamt. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Mostafa Elyasian.