Early Assistance

Schwangere Frau umfasst ihren Bauch mit den Händen

A child changes a parent’s life in many ways. Once a child is born, the first few weeks and months after the birth are sometimes not easy. There are many questions and uncertainties, and a crying baby and sleepless nights can be a severe test for you as parents.

Support for expectant parents and for families with infants and young children

To support you in this special phase of life, early assistance is available – reliable information, counselling and support programmes from the beginning of pregnancy up to the third birthday of your child.

Early assistance is aimed at all families who feel that they are overwhelmed in their current situation and want help and support. The early assistance programmes are preventative and voluntary. Families can take advantage of them without any bureaucratic red tape. The aim of early assistance is to work with the parents to ensure that their children grow up in a healthy way.

Early assistance programmes are available in all 12 Berlin districts. District networks ensure good cooperation between the various specialists. The networks and programmes are funded by the Federal Foundation for Early Assistance and state and district funds.

Programmes and contacts

There is a wide variety of early assistance programmes. Family midwives, family health workers and childcare workers as well as volunteer helpers will provide you with advice and assistance if you wish and will support and counsel you in dealing with your infant or small child.

Through the early assistance programmes, families are strengthened in dealing with their infants and small children, and the development of a stable parent-child bond is supported.

There are contacts in each district who can help you find the right programme for you.

You can find the district programmes of early assistance and other useful contact points for everything having to do with childbirth in the district ‘timetables and guides’.

Family midwives and family health and childcare workers

If required, family midwives and family health and childcare workers will accompany you during pregnancy and support you with your baby in the first few months. They will support and show you how the baby is well cared for and give you tips on whom to turn to if you have problems. On request, they can provide you with further support offerings from the health system and child and youth welfare services.

Volunteer projects

Volunteer projects are an important part of early assistance in Berlin. The projects relieve families in a very practical way: they offer you an open ear and a helping hand and support you in helping yourself. A campaign sponsored by the Berlin Senate – Become the family’s favourite! – offers an overview of all the participating volunteer projects.

Parental assistance outreach

Parental assistance outreach is an outpatient programme that supports parents even before the birth. It provides support for first-time mothers in difficult circumstances. The programme fosters parenting skills and self-help in the families and is provided by social educational specialists in close cooperation with midwives and family midwives.

Berlin family centres

In addition, numerous courses and advisory services are offered in each district. If you are looking for contact with other parents and a family-friendly place in your neighbourhood, you will be in very good hands in the numerous family centres and neighbourhood centres.

District youth welfare offices

The employees of the youth welfare office in your district will be happy to advise you on questions about child-raising and applying for economic benefits. In addition to advice, you can also get support here, such as help with child-raising and family recreation offers. You can also contact your youth welfare office if you have problems or are in an emergency situation.

Child and Youth Health Service (KJGD)

The specialists at the KJGD offer families with infants a personal consultation at the initial contact – usually through a home visit. This early contact in the new phase of life for you, a consultation in your own personal environment, includes holistic family counselling and supports the healthy growth of your child.

As a brand-new parent, you will have a lot of questions and will be looking for competent contacts. “Are we good parents or are we doing something wrong? Is our child crying too much? Is it developing in a way that is age-appropriate?” State-approved social workers from the child and youth health service will answer your questions, be the contact persons in your new life situation and provide targeted assistance and offerings in the immediate vicinity.

Parents in psychosocially stressed situations in particular are easily reached through the health-oriented approach that provides them with low-threshold and tailor-made support programmes. Here the child and youth health service works closely with public and private youth welfare organisations and associations.

During the medical consultation hours, children starting at infancy can be presented and examined and parents can get advice on various issues (e.g., child development, sleeping and eating behaviour, health issues, vaccinations and vaccination counselling, etc.).

Centres for Sexual Health and Family Planning

There are five Centres for Sexual Health and Family Planning in Berlin that offer medical and social counselling and assistance on the following topics:
• Family planning
• Pregnancy
• Counselling in pregnancy conflict
• Psychological counselling for individuals and couples
• Information and counselling on infections and AIDS
• Social counselling
• Drug, alcohol and addiction counselling
• Counselling on support options, such as parental assistance outreach

You can find the Centres for Sexual Health and Family Planning in

Since not every location offers counselling on every topic, please make appropriate enquiries in advance.

Parenting and family counselling

Parenting and family counselling is a free programme for parents and legal guardians, couples as well as children and young people. The counselling can be used directly without an application process and can also be carried out anonymously if desired

Baby Guides

One of the building blocks of the Early Assistance networks is the Baby Guide prevention project, which is to be expanded to all maternity clinics in Berlin’s hospitals after a successful model phase. If there are any indications of stress having to do with the birth, the Baby Guides will be your contacts. They will clarify in a personal conversation whether you will need support during your first time together with your newborn and provide specific contact persons and customised assistance. The Baby Guides will help ensure that you can look forward to family life well-informed and well cared for after the birth of your child.

Additional counselling centres

First contacts for expectant mothers and fathers

The following contact persons are available to you for a confidential consultation on questions about your child’s development or concerns in everyday family life:

• Gynaecologists
Midwives and male midwives, Child health care workers
• Social educational specialists for
pregnancy (conflict) counselling
• Employees of the maternity clinics and birth centres
• Paediatricians
• Surgery staff, medical assistants


Hotline Kinderschutz
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Beratung und Hilfe für Kinder bis 14 Jahre und Eltern

Landeskoordinierungs- und Servicestelle Frühe Hilfen

Further information