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Children and young people have a right to expect our society to support them in their development into independent and socially active personalities. The task of child and youth welfare in our country is therefore to support young people and reduce disadvantages. This also includes advising those responsible for the care and education of children and young people and averting dangers that could impair the well-being of children and young people. In this way, good living conditions for children, young people and their families are to be guaranteed.

Child and youth welfare is regulated in the Federal Republic of Germany by the Eighth Social Code (SGB VIII) – Child and Youth Welfare (KJHG). An important implementing law for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is the Child and Youth Welfare Act (KJfG MV). These two laws in particular form the basis for the work of the youth welfare offices, which coordinate youth welfare in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania as local public youth welfare institutions. Many youth welfare services in this country are provided by independent agencies. Their recognition is carried out by the State Youth Welfare Office, provided that the providers are active throughout the state. The diversity of the providers makes it possible that different value orientations, methods and working forms are incorporated into the youth welfare services practiced.

The recognised institutions of independent youth welfare are mainly involved in youth and youth social work: youth work is an independent area of youth welfare. It includes, among other things, extracurricular youth education, sports and leisure activities, counselling as well as target group-oriented youth work and holiday activities. Youth work aims to enable young people to be creative and critical, non-violent and tolerant. Youth social work includes counselling, which is also provided as a preventive measure, socio-pedagogical assistance and support as well as “outreach” social work. The latter has the approach not to wait for the addressees of help, but to approach them in their social environment and offer help there.

Social Education with its Open Child and Youth Work (OKJA) has been active in Rostock’s districts Kröpeliner-Tor-Vorstadt (KTV), Stadtmitte and Brinkmansdorf since 2008. The three-member core team offers open space and holiday offers as well as counselling. The team is complemented by school social work at eight schools in these districts and streetwork.