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EACEA National Policies Platform


4. Social Inclusion

4.7 Youth work to foster social inclusion

Last update: 28 November 2023
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Main inclusive youth work programmes and target groups

Youth work that is performed by public-sector and independent organisations (Freie Träger) providing child and youth services is designed to promote young people’s development by creating structures and leisure activities that respond to young people’s interests and to which they can make an active contribution. There are open forms of youth work that young people can avail themselves of without being members of a club or similar, such as billiard games or creative courses taught in an open-access youth centre. Support is also provided to youth associations such as the scouts, sports youth, and the youth chapters of the Red Cross and the fire services. Other priority areas of youth work are international youth exchanges, youth counselling services and holiday camps for children and young people. Young people can contribute their ideas and suggestions to the programmes.

For further information on the ongoing nationwide youth work programmes that promote the social integration of children and young people and its target groups see Inclusive programmes for young people. The programmes promote structures as well as activities.

Public funding

Youth work receives public funding at all levels (federal, state and local).

Support provided through the federal government’s Child and Youth Plan (Kinder- und Jugendplan des Bundes)

The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ) is technically the supreme federal authority when it comes to child and youth services. It provides funding wherever child and youth services carries supraregional significance and where, by its nature, it cannot be effectively supported by a federal state alone. This is stipulated in section 83(1) SGB VIII. BMFSFJ fulfils this function under the Child and Youth Plan of the federation (Kinder- und Jugendplan des Bundes) which was introduced in 1950 and known as the Federal youth plan (Bundesjugendplan) until 1994. The Child and Youth Plan (Kinder- und Jugendplan) is the main source of funding for child and youth services at the federal level and represents the biggest item in the BMFSFJ budget. It covers the many areas of activity of child and youth services which, inter alia, serve to promote the social integration of all children and young people.