Support Programmes for Families

Bildausschnitt: Hände halten schützend Scherenschnitt von einer Familie

Child and youth welfare has the legal mandate to counsel and support parents and other legal guardians with child-raising, to support young people in their individual and social development and to protect them against risks to their well-being.

The need for help for families in difficult circumstances frequently arises where health care and youth welfare intersect.

Child and Adolescent Health Services

The KJGD offers counselling, support and coordination for all questions relating to the health of children or young people as well as problems that could impair health development (e.g., developmental disorders, disabilities, classification of the integration status for day care facilities and day care). For families with infants, further support is provided if necessary, especially if there are risk factors that could endanger the physical, emotional and social development of the child.

Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service

The Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Service is responsible for examining and treating children and adolescents with behavioural and mental health problems.

Family support – family education

For expectant mothers, fathers and families, public and independent child and youth welfare organizations offer special information and courses on questions of child-raising, supporting the healthy development of children and living together free of violence. There are many places where parents and children can pursue shared activities, exchange experiences or receive support, including through: mother-father-child groups, parent cafés and meeting places, discussion groups, PEKIP groups, baby massage or the parenting course “Strong Parents – strong children®”.

Parenting and family counselling

Parenting and family counselling is a specific youth welfare service that is publicly and privately available in every Berlin district for:

  • Counselling and education on general questions of support for child-raising
  • Counselling as outpatient assistance for child-raising
  • Counselling on partnership, separation and divorce issues
  • Counselling and support for exercising personal care

Parental assistance outreach

As part of the social early warning system in Berlin, parental assistance outreach is an outpatient programme that starts before birth. It assists and supports first-time mothers who are in stressful circumstances and are unable to organise the necessary assistance due to a lack of experience, knowledge, motivation or being overwhelmed by demands. It serves to strengthen parenting skills and is provided by social education workers and social workers in close cooperation with midwives, male midwives and family midwives.

Shared living arrangements for mothers/fathers and children

With this inpatient programme, mothers and fathers as well as pregnant women receive assistance in raising and caring for their child under 6 years of age. The aim of this assistance is to strengthen the bond between mother and child or father and child, to reinforce parenting skills and to make the parents independent and enable them to lead an independent life with the child.

Berlin-wide child protection agencies

Berlin Child Protection Centre

The Berlin Child Protection Centre offers immediate counselling (also anonymously) to parents, children and young people and all persons who are concerned about children in the event of an impending or already existing risk to a child’s well-being. In crisis situations, temporary admission to the children’s residential group is possible after consultation with the appropriate youth welfare office.

Parent education programmes (e.g., parents’ evenings, parent groups, parent-child groups in the area of early assistance) as well as training for specialists (in particular on all questions relating to the protection mandate for youth welfare) and specialised public relations account for the preventive part of the counselling work. In addition, the Child Protection Centre offers professional counselling on dealing with families in the event of abuse, sexual abuse and neglect as well as risk assessment of the endangerment in accordance with Section 8a of Volume VIII of the German Social Code.

Berlin branch of the German Child Protection Association

The Berlin branch of the German Child Protection Association (“Kinderschutzbund”) offers counselling (also anonymously), crisis intervention and help for parents, children, relatives or neighbours in the event of violence against children. Education specialists can take advantage of counselling to assess the risk of endangerment and to plan further action steps in a specific case.

In addition, the Kinderschutzbund conducts general training courses for professionals on the subject of dealing with endangerment to a child’s well-being and child protection in accordance with Section 8a of Volume VIII of the Social Code. In addition to counselling, the German Child Protection Association coordinates the Berlin-wide parenting course “Strong Parents – Strong Children®”. The course teaches the child-raising model and supports parents in making everyday family life relaxed and free of violence again.

KiZ - Child at the Centre of the Protestant Youth and Welfare Work

Child at the Centre (“Kind im Zentrum”) offers affected girls and boys and their relatives or caregivers counselling (also anonymously) and therapy on coping with sexual abuse and dealing with suspected cases. Assistance is also addressed to perpetrators in cooperation with the judiciary. In addition, Child at the Centre for Professionals and Institutions offers case-related counselling (also in accordance with Section 8a/b of Volume VIII of the Social Code), conducts training and information events and carries out specialist public relations work.

Working group against sexual abuse of girls by Wildwasser e.V.

Wildwasser e.V. offers girls and their relatives or caregivers counselling on coping with sexual abuse and dealing with suspected cases. In addition, Wildwasser e.V. carries out case-related counselling for professionals and institutions as well as informational events and training courses to educate people about sexual abuse. If necessary, girls can be admitted to the crisis flat. Wildwasser e.V. offers girl-specific outpatient and inpatient assistance for child-raising and is involved in the Girls’ emergency service.

neuhland e.V.

neuhland e.V. is a counselling centre for children, young people and parents in emergency situations when there are feelings of hopelessness or the risk of suicide. If necessary, there is the possibility of admission to the crisis flat. As part of their prevention work on the issue of suicide risk, neuhland e.V. offers informational events for school classes, student groups and disseminators as well as project work in schools. In addition, neuhland e.V. conducts trainings, counselling and supervision for specialists from other institutions and services in the event of suicide risk among young people.

Strohhalm e.V.

Strohhalm e.V. is a specialist agency for the prevention of violence and sexual abuse against girls and boys and works in an advisory, training and educational capacity with children and adults.

The main focuses of their work are
  • Prevention programmes against sexual abuse for primary schools and day care centres, drawing on educational professionals, parents and children and counselling from educational professionals
  • Intercultural prevention work
  • Counselling especially for professionals on the issue of sexual assault among children
  • Training courses on the issues of sexual abuse and prevention and sexual assault among children

HILFE–FÜR–JUNGS e.V. ('Help for Boys')

Subway – help for boys who are on the go and prostitute themselves

Within the scope of low-threshold work, assistance is offered for problems with experience of violence, homelessness, hygiene, sexual practices and communicable diseases.

berliner jungs – prevention, counselling and help for boys who are threatened with and/or affected by sexual violence

The berliner jungs counselling centre provides prevention, intervention and counselling on the issue of sexual violence against boys. The project organises prevention events for boys, works in schools and institutions for child and youth welfare and offers counselling for boys affected by sexual violence, their relatives and specialists. In addition, berliner jungs offers multiplier training for youth welfare staff.

Outpatient assistance project

Flexible individual and family assistance for boys who are threatened or affected by sexual violence in accordance with Sections18, 30, 31, 35 of Volume VIII of the Social Code.

mut – mobile supportive trauma assistance

Trauma educational assistance for boys and young men who have been traumatised by sexual violence.