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Programme 'Culture builds strength – Alliances for education' (Kultur macht stark – Bündnisse für Bildung)
Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) Time frame: since 2013. Aim: promotes cultural education projects outside of schools. Measures: Local citizens across Germany form alliances for education to implement projects for children and young people who have little to no access to cultural education, such as mentoring programmes, reading programmes, holiday camps, and music, dance, drama and circus projects. 'Culture builds strength' is a nationwide programme.
Promoting social integration through international youth work
See also Initiatives Promoting Social Inclusion and Raising Awareness > Intercultural Awareness > Youth policy initiative to promote education and participation (Jugendpolitische Initiative für Bildung und Teilhabe, JiVE)
Education package (Bildungspaket)
Managed by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS). Time frame: Since 1 April 2011. Target group: Services are provided especially to children, adolescents and young adults who are in receipt of unemployment benefit II or social benefit or whose parents are in receipt of supplementary child allowance or housing benefit. Those in receipt of benefit under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz) may also be entitled to claim services under the education package. In addition, individuals may be entitled to services under Social Code Book II (Sozialgesetzbuch, SGB II) if the child or his or her parents are not in receipt of any of the benefits mentioned, but are unable to meet the child’s specific educational and participation needs. The Education package provides grants for the following:
- additional expenses for meals at nurseries, schools and daycare centres,
- learning support for pupils in need who would otherwise not be able to reach significant learning targets,
- participation of children in need in sports, games and cultural activities; a monthly amount of EUR 10 is available for these purposes, which may be spent on, e.g., membership fees or (in exceptional cases) equipment,
- the purchase of personal items for pupils (e.g., school bags, pens, calculators, drawing materials); a grant is paid to the families twice per school year for these items,
- expenses relating to one-day or multi-day field trips organised by schools, nurseries or day-care centres (e.g., school excursions),
- expenses for the transportation of pupils provided no other transportation is available.
The education package is implemented locally by the district and municipal authorities. It may be implemented in different ways depending on the district or municipal authorities.
- Special programmes to promote young people’s social integration
Support for youth social work
Youth social work (Jugendsozialarbeit) is funded at national, regional and local level as part of regular child and youth services that are provided in accordance with the Social Code Book VIII (SGB VIII). The main sources of funding are the Child and Youth Plan of the federation (Kinder- und Jugendplan des Bundes), the youth budgets of the federal states (Landesjugendpläne), and local child and youth budgets. While youth work is open to all young people as a rule, youth social work as one form of child and youth services is dedicated specifically to young people from disadvantaged social backgrounds or who have specific needs. They may have learning difficulties, come from immigrant families, or have mental health problems. The aim is to support these young people in completing their education, learning a trade and entering the labour market and, more generally, to integrate in society. To this end, a wide range of services are available at the local level: counselling services for unemployed young people, career exploration days, and labour market integration and training courses, to name but a few.
ESF model programme 'Support young people in the neighbourhood' (JUGEND STÄRKEN im Quartier)
Funded jointly by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat, BMI) and through the European Social Fund. Target group: young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who are transitioning from school to work. The projects are aimed specifically at young people aged 12 to 26 who lack perspectives and for whom other services are largely out of reach, including school drop-outs, young people who have failed to complete a labour market integration course, and recently arrived young immigrants requiring special integration assistance. Measures: The programme supports young people as they (re-)integrate in school, training, the labour market and society at large. The aim is to reach out to participants with low-threshold services and strengthen their skills profile and personalities. The model programme uses a variety of socio-educational services that can be combined depending on the needs of the target groups at the local level. Main focal areas: urban social structures and disadvantaged urban areas. During the funding period (2015 to 2018), 178 model municipalities are implementing projects to assist young people together with public-sector and independent providers of youth social work. Funding: The federal government has contributed around EUR 115 million from the European Social Fund plus another EUR 5 million in federal funding.
Pilot programme 'RESPECT' (RESPEKT) for difficult-to-reach young people
Funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS). Time frame: since 2015, was extended until the end of 2018. Target group: young people in a difficult phase of life, especially those young people who lack access to regular social welfare services either temporarily or permanently. Aim: to offer support in such a way that a personal long-term relationship to these young people can be established that builds on trust and gives them a sense of safety, while enabling them to return long-term to training and work. Measures: 18 projects provide additional support services for young people in a difficult phase of their lives, assisting them in integrating into the education system, accessing employment promotion services, and finding vocational training or employment, and ensuring they are given an opportunity to continue their development. Evaluation: evaluation report available.
ESF-funded federal government programme for assistance with vocational training (ESF Bundesprogramm Berufseinstiegsbegleitung)
Ministry in charge: Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS). Time frame: 15 November 2014 to 31 July 2022. Target group: academically weak pupils who aim to complete Hauptschule (the academically least challenging form of secondary school) and are expected to encounter difficulties with this and/or in transitioning from school to vocational training. It also serves pupils attempting to complete a special education qualification (Förderschule) for whom a subsequent period of vocational training seems feasible. Aim: to assist young people in accessing vocational training. Measures: Programme assistants provide continuous support to each of the young people individually while they are still at school up to the point they enter vocational training. The measures commence in the last-but-one school year in a mainstream school and end six months after starting vocational training. If the transition is not seamless, support is provided for up to 24 months in total. The aim is to
- assist young people in gaining a school leaving qualification,
- making the right choice of career,
- and helping them to secure a long-term place on a training programme.
Target set: Between 2014/15 and 2018/19 the aim is to assist around 113 000 young people in around 3 000 schools in entering the vocational training system. Funding: ESF funded.
Programmes to promote the social integration of young people from immigrant families
Jugendmigrationsdienste (Youth migration services)
More than 450 youth migration services (Jugendmigrationsdienste, JMD) across Germany advise and support young members (between 12 and 27 years) of the immigrant community who are entitled to remain in Germany permanently, including young refugees. Educational experts who work for the scheme assist them as they start school or vocational training or enter the labour market. The idea is to provide them with equal opportunities and allow them to participate. Together with the young immigrants, objectives are drawn up in a personalised integration plan and the best possible forms of support identified so that every one of them can reach their goals. More than 850 staff work at one of Germany’s 450 JMD offices. es. Each year they assist over 120,000 (2018) young members of the immigrant community. Cooperation with schools, employers and parents is especially important in this regard. JMD workers do not only advise the young immigrants, but also their parents on matters relating to education and training, and work closely with a migration counselling scheme for adult immigrants (Migrationsberatung für erwachsene Zuwanderer, MBE).
To optimise the integration process, in 2011 the web-based software application "I-mpuls JMD" was introduced across Germany for all organisations working in this field, which also allows for the evaluation of their work. The services provided by JMD are regularly adapted to reflect current developments and needs.
Programmes to promote the social integration of immigrants
Unaccompanied minor refugees
Under Section 42 of the Social Code Book VIII (SGB VIII), foreign minors who come to Germany unaccompanied are entrusted into the care of the youth office (Jugendamt) if neither a carer nor a guardian is already in the country. Young people of legal age but under the age of 21 can approach a youth office and request assistance under section 41 SGB VIII (Social Code Book VIII). (See also Access to Quality Services > Housing > Homeless young people – Taking custody)
Directive to promote measures for the societal and social integration of immigrants (Förderrichtlinie Integration)
Joint funding directive of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (Bundesministerium des Innern, BMI) and the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ). Aim: to promote measures for the societal and social integration of immigrants. Target groups: associations, refugee organisations, churches, recognised civic education providers, immigrant community organisations, local authorities and other groups who work with young immigrants on the supraregional, regional or local level. Time frame: since 1 March 2010. Measures: focus on projects to promote participation and competence acquisition among immigrants. They should be a good fit with existing local-level services. The involvement of immigrant community organisations is particularly desirable in this regard. Support is available for innovative, low-threshold measures at the local level that promote the societal and social integration of young immigrants. These include, e.g., hands-on measures to strengthen immigrants’ social and parenting skills, promote civic commitment and intercultural skills, bring about equal participation for girls and women from the immigrant community, and prevent crime and addiction. Other stakeholders involved: Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF).
Programme 'Vocational orientation for refugees' (Berufsorientierung für Flüchtlinge, BOF)
Run by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF). Aim and target group: provides young refugees with an in-depth insight into skilled occupations in the crafts and trades field that require vocational training. BOF forms part of the joint vocational training initiative Vocational training opportunities for refugees (Wege in Ausbildung für Flüchtlinge) of BMBF, the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, BA) and the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks, ZDH). Under the programme, up to 10 000 young refugees are to be given an opportunity to learn a skilled craft. Measures: Throughout the entire measure the participants are given technical language courses and personally supported by a project counsellor. BOF consists of training phases, which are spent in a protected workshop environment, plus a subsequent in-company training phase Time frame: 20 April 2016 - 31 December 2018.
Initiative 'Vocational training opportunities for refugees' (Wege in Ausbildung für Flüchtlinge)
Launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF), the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit, BA) and the German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (Zentralverband des Deutschen Handwerks, ZDH). Time frame: since 5 February 2016. Aim: to introduce persons entitled to asylum, recognised refugees, asylum seekers and "tolerated" persons who have access to the labour market to the option of learning a craft or trade. Measures: In a multi-stage process, starting with integration courses plus general and advanced career orientation, participants are to be equipped to enter a course of vocational training in the crafts sector. Target groups: young refugees above compulsory school age.
Directives 'University guarantee fund' (Garantiefonds Hochschule)
Adopted by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ). Aim and target group: supports young ethnic German immigrants, refugees and other immigrants as they work towards a university entrance qualification and subsequent admission to the higher education system. Measures: Support is available in particular for preparatory German language courses for which a certificate is issued upon completion, allowing participants to prepare for university admission or to complete a university degree. Support is also available for special courses for those participants wishing to obtain a university (of applied sciences) entrance qualification, attend pre-university preparatory course (Studienkolleg), or attend a preparatory course for Studienkolleg. The courses build on the integration courses offered by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) and complement the current language training measures designed to integrate highly skilled refugees.
Updated directives on a guarantee fund to support young immigrants in preparing for and completing a higher education degree came into force on 1 January 2017. These directives extend the target group of eligible persons to include the spouses of persons entitled to asylum and of recognised refugees who travel to Germany to join them. Also, greater emphasis is given to the pre-university phase.
Programme 'Social participation through work for young adult refugees and beneficiaries who are fit for work' (Soziale Teilhabe durch Arbeit für jungeerwachsene Flüchtlinge und erwerbsfähige Leistungsberechtigte, STAFFEL)
Launched by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS). Time frame: 2016-2018. Aim and target group: to promote jobs subject to social security contributions for young recognised refugees and young recipients of benefits under the Social Code Book II (SGB II) aged 25 to 35 who are fit for work who, owing to personal difficulties in being placed on the labour market, require assistance in entering the general market for labour and vocational training and face specific challenges:
- recognised refugees with a valid residence title,
- beneficiaries who are fit for work but whose placement on the labour market is compromised for personal reasons.
Measures: Jobs subject to social security with 20 weekly working hours are eligible under the programme. In addition, a flat monthly grant per month is available for the support and coaching granted to a participant. Accompanying activities are also eligible, such as on-the-job measures to stabilise participants and increase their chances of accessing the general labour market. The programme can accommodate around 500 participants. Total budget: EUR 21 million.
Federal programme 'Among friends - Alliances for young refugees' (Willkommen bei Freunden - Bündnisse für junge Flüchtlinge)
Started by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ). Aim: supports local authorities in receiving and supporting unaccompanied refugee children and adolescents. Target groups: local authority staff, initiatives, associations and independent organisations (Freie Träger). Measures: Six service units have been established across Germany. The service unit staff can be contacted personally to discuss what needs there are on the ground and put together a tailored package of services.
Federal programme 'People helping people' (Menschen stärken Menschen)
Launched by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ). Aims: to encourage and support partnerships between refugees and citizens. In addition, it encourages families and individuals to become host families or guardians for unaccompanied minor refugees. Time frame: since the beginning of 2016.
Federal states (Länder)
There are individual programmes to support integration in the federal states, including young people as a target group. Further information can be found at relevant websites run by the respective state governments or ministries:
- North Rhine-Westphalia,
- Lower Saxony,
- Mecklenburg-West Pomerania,
All programmes listed above are financed (often co-financed) through public-sector funding from federal (federal programmes), state (state programmes) or local authority budgets. Funding is provided in accordance with specific funding directives that stipulate certain terms and conditions that each programme has to meet. In addition, statutory and budgetary provisions apply.
Information has been provided on the budgets of the above programmes where available.
Programmes that use European Social Fund money have been indicated as such.
Support for youth associations
Youth associations receive financial support at federal, state and local level as part of fundamental child and youth services that are provided in accordance with the Social Code Book VIII (SGB VIII). The main sources of funding are the Child and Youth Plan of the federation (Kinder- und Jugendplan des Bundes), the youth budgets of the federal states, and local child and youth support budgets. The BMFSFJ supports the youth associations’ structures at the central federal level. Youth work is organised and designed by young people themselves, who also carry part of the responsibility, under the umbrella of youth associations. The youth associations represent the interests and concerns of young people. At the regional level (Länder), the youth associations are brought together in the shape of regional youth councils (Landesjugendringe), at the local level, they form municipal youth councils (Stadtjugendringe) or district youth councils (Kreisjugendringe). Individual associations receive support at all three levels (national, regional and local).
The evaluation projects vary in terms of the methodology, questions, indicators etc. used. Their outcomes vary accordingly. These points are mentioned in connection with the evaluations of individual programmes mentioned in the programme descriptions under Programmes for vulnerable young people, provided they are known.