In 2022/2023, the members of the National Forum Family worked on the thematic focus “Support structures for families: How are family support structures designed, organised and implemented in Germany?” This now published publication summarises the process, which consisted of specialist events and working group meetings.
Among other things, the publication emphasises how important it is to have the political will to implement preventative measures, even if their effects are difficult to quantify and only become apparent years later – “There is no glory in prevention”. To this end, it is imperative that society as a whole, freed from the (monetary) interests of individual sections, takes a central view. Both the individual effects for families and the effects on society as a whole must take centre stage. This is even more important in view of the numerous crises that families and society are currently facing. Only then will it be possible to utilise the great strength of heterogeneity both in working with families and in working with family support structures as a central strength. After all, realising this potential requires a great deal of attention and dedication, which is currently not yet sufficiently possible.
With these pleas, the discussions formed an important thematic counterpoint in the family policy debate landscape.
Several topics are explored in depth in the publication:
- Legal and financial conditions for successful family support: monetary and infrastructural support for families must not be played off against each other. A long-term improvement in the situation for families is only possible through a combination of financial and structural measures – supplemented by investments in infrastructure.
- Structural challenges and opportunities in the area of family education: The (predominantly female-dominated) personnel structure of family education is based on voluntary work, honorary contracts and part-time work and is therefore also a structure that is coming under increasing pressure. This must be counteracted with social and financial recognition, good training conditions and the visibility of the field of work on the education market. The implementation deficit in terms of clearly regulated legal responsibilities for the organisation and coordination of service structures must be addressed strategically.
- Approach and values in family support: Successful family support settings require reflection on one’s own position. The role of language can hardly be overestimated. The publication identifies structural framework conditions that are essential for respectful and helpful support work.
The publication is only available in German. For printed versions of the publication please turn to the secretariat of the National Family Forum: email@example.com.