Schriftgröße

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.

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