Voluntary Social Work in the FRG

"Voluntary Social Work" is the totality of all social work which is performed in organised form
by associations and for the public benefit. The institutions of voluntary social work are characterised
by various philosophical and religious views or beliefs. They have united into six
central associations in order to provide voluntary social services. The central associations are
structured in the form of a federation, i.e. the structures and member organisations are predominantly
independent from a legal point of view. The task of the central associations providing
voluntary social services is to represent and safeguard the interests of the weak and
disadvantaged in various societal and political areas through the provision of legal counsel.
The cooperation of public and voluntary social work in the Federal Republic of Germany is
unique in the world. The partnership-related cooperation of public institutions and voluntary
social work volunteers is regulated by the Social Security Code and more substantial statutory
provisions for the area of child and youth assistance and social assistance. The goal is
the effective supplementation of the respective activities for the benefit of those seeking
assistance. The basis of this cooperation, to the extent that it is rendered by public and voluntary
institutions, is the subsidiary principle.
The central organisations for voluntary social services are an important component of the
social state due to their services for the community. The social network would fall apart if it
weren’t for their work: Voluntary social work maintains approx. 60 % of all social institutions
and services employ a total of about 1.2 million full-time employees. In addition, it is estimated
that 2.5 to 3 million holding unpaid positions provide assistance in the form of voluntary
social work in initiatives, charitable organisations and self-help groups. The promotion of
this citizenship-related commitment is one of the central interests of voluntary social work.

Associations of the LIGA in Thuringia

Arbeiterwohlfahrt Landesverband Thüringen e.V.
[Worker Social Welfare, Regional Association of Thuringia, registered association]
Regional Managing Director Ulf Grießmann
Pfeiffersgasse 12
99084 Erfurt
Main sphere of activities:
- Child and youth assistance
- Women and families
- Assistance to the elderly
- Assistance to the handicapped
- Migration
...   ...

Self-image and structure of the LIGA in Thuringia

In 1991, the following associations of the Voluntary Social Welfare Association of Thuringia
banded together:

Regional Worker Social Welfare Association of Thuringia, reg. assoc.
Caritas Association of the Diocese of Erfurt, reg. assoc.
Caritas Association of the Diocese of Fulda, reg. assoc.
Caritas Association of Eastern Thuringia, reg. assoc.
Der Paritätische Social Welfare Association, Regional Association of Thuringia, reg. assoc.
German Red Cross Association, Regional Association of Thuringia, reg. assoc.
Diaconical Association of Central Germany, reg. assoc.
Regional Jewish Association of Thuringia
In Thuringia, in about 3000 institutions and service providers of voluntary social work, social
work, social pedagogical and caretaking assistance and services are offered. Far more than
500,000 Thuringians avail themselves of the offerings for assistance and support services in
the institutions, services, associations and initiatives of voluntary social work. Thus, the institutions
of voluntary social work are an important component of the social and health system
of the free state of Thuringia. With about 60,000 full-time employees, the associations of
voluntary social work are one of the largest employers and an important part of the social
economy. Their joint interests are coordinated at the state level in the LIGA of Thuringia and
represented, among others, on state committees.
The LIGA actively participates in the formulation of social policies in Thuringia in close cooperation
with politicians and management. In so doing, the LIGA contributes its own concepts
and approaches for the (further) development of the social infrastructure in the free state of
The lively cooperation of the public sector and the Voluntary Social Work Association in Thuringia
shows that the LIGA is recognised as an important socio-political, but also socioeconomic
component of the free state and can no longer be ignored in political matters.
The LIGA in Thuringia works together with:

  • The Federal ministries
  • Elected Federal representatives
  • Thuringia minister president
  • Thuringia state parliament
  • State representatives
  • Thuringia ministries
  • Elected EU representatives
  • Communal central associations
  • Federal Labour Association for Voluntary Social Work
  • Leagues of the German states
  • Regional associations
  • Regional Office for Social Affairs and Family
  • Health insurance and care funds
  • Regional planning association
  • Broadcasting assistance e.V.
  • Lottery companies
  • Media
  • Other unions, associations and institutions.

The ordinary body of the LIGA is the central committee which represents the fundamentally
strategic work level. On the central committee, socio-political and technical policy topics at
the regional level are discussed, assessed in the framework of conditions of regional policy,
the economy and the social infrastructure and coordinated upon an intra-association level.
Project and ad-hoc working groups, consisting of advisors and representatives with practical
experience from the regional associations, form the technical work level of the LIGA. They
notify and advise the central committee regarding technical policy-related developments in
the respective area.
The city, district leagues and district teams belong to the committees of the LIGA of Voluntary
Social Work in Thuringia. Corresponding to the number of regional districts and districtfree
cities of Thuringia, there are 22 leagues and working groups. Analogous to the regional
league, both socio-political and socio-economic developments as well as also general conditions
at the regional level are discussed in order to be able to influence communal policy and
administrative decision-making.

The structure of the LIGA in Thuringia

Englisches Organigramm


Arnstädter Straße 50
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99096 Erfurt

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