What does "Kindeswohlgefährdung" (children at risk) mean ?

Kindeswohlgefährdung is a legal term of the German Civil Code. The paragraph concerned (BGB § 1666) deals with the rights and duties of the state, if children are at risk in their physical, intellectual, mental and financial welfare and parents are not able to prevent or are part of the danger. In this case the court of family affairs has to act, for example to restrict the parent´s right of custody. The ASD acts on behalf of the state.

What is the "Allgemeine Soziale Dienst" (General Social Service) ?

The organisation of the youth welfare services in Germany shows a great variety. There is one general, central service, mostly called ASD, and there are some services with specific tasks and different support functions. (Up to the last project our focus was on special services and supports: Day care mothers, counselling in the field of foster care, stepfamilies and social work, socio-educational help for families, emergency care.) The work with children at risk and their families is only one part of the tasks of the ASD. Other tasks are for example to counsel persons in difficult circumstances or to support preventive possibilities in the residential area of families. Sometimes the ASD acts together with special services. Tasks of the ASD in connection with children at risk are: · To give protection for the children and juveniles · To contact the court of family affairs in order to restrict or withdraw the parent`s right of custody; if necessary. · To counsel the parents and the children · To organise the helping support together with other professionals and the families.

What is the topic of the project ?

Points of interest and questions of the project "Children at risk and the ASD" are: · What different organisations of youth welfare services exist ? · The cooperation of the ASD with the court of family affairs - how is that working ? · How many working hours does work with children at risk take ? · The cooperation of the ASD with other services - what is the current status ? · What are the typical families with children at risk ? · Are there typical processes of interventions ? · What are appropriate methods of counselling ? · Which forms of documentation and evaluation are there, which ones would be necessary ? · How do social workers understand their work in this field - especially their tasks of "counselling with risk" and their duty, to guarantee the security of the children ?

The kind of research we do

The research is practice-oriented, that means we develop and test suggestions with the practitioners in a common solution-finding process. We have different forms of research in our project: · An intensive cooperation group for over two years with practitioners from eight ASDs. Here we look at good experiences and develop together with the practitioners new solutions. · We attend the practitioners in their towns and speak with professionals and families. · Interviews with particular ASDs in Germany, which have developed interesting solutions. · We initiate an Info- and discussion pool by infos on paper and in the internet · Once a year we carry out a greater conference for about 120 participants.


Besides articles and conferences we will design a practice-oriented manual.


+49 89 62306-245
Deutsches Jugendinstitut
Nockherstr. 2
81541 Munich

Additional Information