Our services and capacities – What do we offer?

Aside from lobbying at legislative level, AGJ’s youth policy activities focus specifically on child and youth welfare and youth policy structures as well as on related policy areas at federal level.

In addition, our services are addressed to:

  • the executive and decision-making levels in child and youth welfare structures,
  • the salaried and voluntary specialists working within child and youth welfare structures.

The AGJ then performs its services within the framework of its guiding principles and the basis of its tasks as specified in its articles of association.

Representing Child and Youth Welfare Interests:

The Child and Youth Welfare Association – AGJ realises its goals, fulfils its tasks and provides its services on a range of levels:

  • The AGJ presents statements and recommendations prepared by compiling and evaluating the expertise and opinions of AGJ members in order to make its position known to the legislator (executive and legislative).
  • The AGJ constantly strives to improve and enhance the conditions of child and youth welfare work by drafting suggestions, by recommending courses of action, by bringing in position papers on youth welfare practices and by arranging a variety of conferences and events on the key tasks and issues in child and youth welfare.

Statements, Position Papers, Working Materials and Publications:

The AGJ usually publishes the results of its work and, in particular, its policy statements and discussion and position papers. AGJ members, as well as members of Working Committees and other advisory bodies, are provided promptly with the working materials and position papers, and are also offered materials and brochures published under the aegis of the AGJ itself.
The AGJ not only provides a specialist audience with information on the results of its work and services via dedicated national publications, but also through its own ‘FORUM Jugendhilfe’ journal and its web platform. Specialists in the field and interested members of the general public can also find information on AGJ activities in the current annual reports available from the AGJ website. The AGJ provides a wide range of information material, including the ‘FORUM Jugendhilfe’ journal, published four times a year. ‘FORUM Jugendhilfe’ is specifically designed for a readership familiar with the issues in youth welfare. It provides information on the AGJ’s work and activities, with articles and reports on a range of topics and on youth welfare events, as well as comments, position papers and statements on current youth welfare concerns and projects. The AGJ website (www.agj.de) provides information on the AGJ’s remit and goals, and its services and capacities. The information not only includes the positions taken by the AGJ on youth welfare issues, but also details of current events and publications.

Symposia, Conferences and Events:

The AGJ organises congresses, symposia, expert hearings and workshops both for smaller groups of experts as well as for a broad specialist audience. These events are directed towards the enhancement of professionalism and the improvement of the working conditions of child and youth welfare. The ‘AGJ-GESPRÄCHE’ (AGJ Talks), held in a biennial or triennial rhythm, are designed to address current socio-political issues and consider their significance for child and youth welfare in practice. In this process, the primary objective is to explore those key economic, social and political developments outside youth welfare which raise questions significantly impacting youth welfare tasks and work.

The AGJ’s Work in an International Context:

As the “German National Committee for Early Childhood Education (DNK)”, the AGJ represents the early years education sector in youth welfare in the Federal Republic of Germany within the World Organisation for Early Childhood Education (Organisation Mondiale pour l’Éducation Préscolaire – OMEP).
The AGJ is a member of Eurochild – The European Network Promoting the Welfare and Rights of Children and Young People. In this organisation and with the particular structures of German child and youth welfare in mind, the AGJ represents shared positions on the European level.
Through the International Working Group on Youth Affairs (Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Jugendfragen – IAGJ), the AGJ regularly participates in specialist discussions with youth welfare representatives from the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. Those exchanges focus in particular on issues of youth welfare law and family law.

International Programmes for Specialists (CIP/ISP):

On behalf of the Federal Government, the AGJ arranges two international exchange programmes for specialists in the child and youth welfare and social work sectors. The International Study Programme (ISP) provides specialists from abroad the chance to spend two months in Germany to become familiar with the theory and practice of child and youth welfare and social work here. Through the Council of International Programs (CIP), German specialists can spend several months working and studying in the USA.

German Child and Youth Welfare Prize:

The AGJ awards the German Child and Youth Welfare Prize – the Hermine Albers Prize. Every two years, the AGJ announces the award in the category of child and youth welfare practice, linking it to a topic of current concern in child and youth welfare. In the same two-year rhythm, the AGJ also awards a prize in theory and scholarly work, as well as the Child and Youth Welfare Media Prize, though these latter awards are not bound to a specific topic. The German Child and Youth Welfare Prize is funded by the the federal-state authorities responsible for child and youth welfare. The prize is designed to:

  • encourage those working with children and young people and their families respectively in the child and youth welfare structures to devise and present new concepts, models and practical examples to further develop the theory and practice of child and youth welfare, and make their work known to a specialist audience,
  • encourage journalists to report on the range of work in child and youth welfare (its content, methods, approaches and institutions), providing the broad general public with a realistic picture of the child and youth welfare services and capacities,
  • promote and support child and youth welfare theory and practice and awaken the interest of other circles for child and youth welfare tasks by announcing and, if appropriate, publishing the prize-winning works.

German Child and Youth Welfare Congress:

With the German Child and Youth Welfare Congress (Deutscher Kinder- und Jugendhilfetag – DJHT), held every four years, the AGJ provides a national and central forum for an exchange of experience as well as for discussion and further training. The main planks of the German Child and Youth Welfare Congress are the specialist conference and the exhibition ”Child and Youth Welfare Market”.

The German Child and Youth Welfare Congress:

  • provides a platform for making contacts and exchanging experience and views, it facilitates a critical dialogue with different standpoints in child and youth welfare theory and practice in a setting resembling further training,
  • offers an insight into everyday practice, and presents developments in theory and ideas as well as innovative child and youth welfare models and projects,
  • informs the general public about the tasks, services and capacities of child and youth welfare,
  • aims to jointly realise improved social conditions for children and young people.

National Coalition for the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Germany:

The AGJ is the legal entity of the National Coalition for the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Germany (NC). The National Coalition, which comprises around 100 organisations and initiatives active at national level across Germany from a wide range of social sectors, has the declared aim of making the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) widely known in Germany and promoting its implementation. 
The National Coalition’s tasks and objectives specifically include:

  • providing a review of the pertinent policy aspects of the German Federal Government’s regular reports to the UN Committee, and fostering a critical dialogue with that reporting on all levels,
  • organising a broad professional dialogue across a range of social areas on implementing the UNCRC,
  • promoting an international exchange on implementing the UNCRC and cultivating contacts with the non-governmental “International Coalition” group of organisations,
  • fostering and supporting direct forms of involvement for children and young people in the discussion on implementing the UNCRC in Germany.

Web Portal for Specialists in Child and Youth Welfare:

Together with IJAB - International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Child and Youth Welfare Association – AGJ carries out the Web Portal for Specialists in Child and Youth Services (www.jugendhilfeportal.de). This web platform aims to serve all those working within child and youth welfare as a central point of contact, for specialised information, communication and cooperation. The project focuses particularly on encouraging as broad an involvement as possible and the co-production of child and youth welfare structures. The Web Portal for Specialists in Child and Youth Services is funded by the Working Committee of the Federal-State Authorities Responsible for Child and Youth Welfare (AGJF) as well as the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ).

Aktuelle Neuerscheinung

FORUM JUGENDHILFE 3/2016

FORUM JUGENDHILFE 2/2017

u.a. zu: Rechtsentwicklung: Motor für mehr Gerechtigkeit?; Analysen des Fachkräftebarometers Frühe Bildung 2017