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  • German Association for Public and Private Welfare

    The German Association for Public and Private Welfare (Deutscher Verein für öffentliche und private Fürsorge e.V.) is the joint forum of municipalities and non-statutory social welfare organisations and their social services in Germany, private commercial enterprises, the Länder (federal states) and academia in all fields of social work, social policy and social law. ...mehr

Bild vom Treffen in Athen

ISS PAC meets in Athens



From 16th to 18th May Ursula Rölke, the director of the German member of ISS, based in Deutscher Verein für öffentliche und private Fürsorge (German Association) participated in this years' Meeting of ISS directors.

The ISS Professional Advisory Committee annual meeting was successfully hosted in Athens by ISS Member in Greece, a founding member in 1924.

Directors from Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Switzerland, USA, United Kingdom, West Africa Network as well as the Secretary General and the Network development coordinator from the ISS General Secretariat discussed, over 2 and half days a full agenda of ISS issues. Among them, the participants covered current projects such as Children on the Move, Children with Disabilities, International Family Mediation.

The meeting considered reports from various bodies of the network and discussed as well general strategy, policy and advocacy matters related to network development, membership and contributions. The last (half) day of the meeting was dedicated to a side meeting of ISS European members, the contributions committee as well as the first meeting of working group on ISS regionalization.

A special reception for ISS was hosted by the mayor of Athens to express thanks and appreciation to ISS work in Greece and world-wide. After each day’s extensive discussion sessions, a social agenda gathered all participants along the warmth of Greek hospitality and good food.

Please do also visit our ISS General Secretariats Website

Bild vom Treffen in Verona

Experts meeting to discuss international reponses to surrogacy at University of Verona



The International Social Service (ISS) together with a group of experts (the Experts' Group) met from 18 to 20 May 2017 at the Department of Law, University of Verona, Italy to discuss the urgent need for national and international child focused responses to surrogacy arrangements.

This first meeting of the Experts' Group was attended by 30 experts and observers from governments, academic institutions, civil society as well as international organisations including among others the Council of Europe, the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, UN Special Rapporteur sale and sexual exploitation of children and UNICEF. The Experts' Group represented various regions, including States and non-governmental organisations which have different approaches to national and international surrogacy arrangements.

The Experts' Group acknowledged the disparate national approaches to surrogacy and the concerns relating to surrogacy arrangements including, for example, the potential for exploitation of children, women and intending parents. The Experts' Group agreed in particular that the rights of all children, irrespective of the circumstances of their birth, must be protected. The Experts' Group also agreed in principle that States must prohibit the sale of children in the context of surrogacy with particular reference to the Optional Protocol on Sale of Children.

ISS and the Experts' Group agreed that there is an urgent need for comprehensive universal principles which consider surrogacy from an international and child centred approach, and grounded in international human rights laws and standards with particular reference to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The purpose of this meeting was therefore to review a working document proposing "Principles for better protection of children's rights in the context of surrogacy". These principles would, first and foremost, support inter-governmental and national efforts in providing a comprehensive international children's rights response to surrogacy. Significant steps are now beginning to be made in that direction.

This is the first of a number of consultations that ISS and the Experts' Group intend to convene. ISS and its core group* will continue to work in close collaboration with inter-governmental organisations, States and other relevant stakeholders, in order to secure their input on specific issues where improved clarity, information and action are most urgently needed. The German Association (Deutscher Verein für öffentliche und private Fürsorge) in this Meeting was represented by Valerie Schatz, policy officer in the German member of ISS, one of the Departments of German Association.

ISS wishes to thank Professor Maria Caterina Baruffi and the University of Verona for hosting this first meeting of the Experts' Group. A second meeting will be convened in Zurich, Switzerland in early 2018.

For more information, please contact Mia Dambach, ISS. Mia.dambach@iss-ssi.org
or +41 789 24 09 74 * Claire Achmad, Christina Baglietto, Nigel Cantwell, Mia Dambach, Patricia Fronek, David Smolin, Katarina Trimmings and Michael Wells-Greco
Please do also visit our ISS General Secretariats Website

Anita Parlov, Ursula Rölke, Kyoko Hijikata und Sebastian Regitz

Visit from Japan at the German Association for Public and Private Welfare



On 29th March, ISS German Branch/the German Association received a visit from Kyoko Hijikata, deputy director of the Division for Hague Conventions of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Division for Hague Conventions has the function of Japanese Central Authority according to the 1980 Hague Convention on Child Abduction (HAC). The purpose of her visit was to get to know the work of the Central Contact Point for Cross-border Family Conflicts and Mediation (ZAnK) as well as better insight into the roles of the different stakeholders in Germany, especially the youth welfare offices. A special focus was placed on the problem how to support contact between the child and the left-behind parent during the child abduction procedure as effectively as possible – as the abducting parent often tries to prevent it. Japan, being a Contracting State to the HAC since 1st April 2014, is particularly interested in shaping the handling of those procedures in the best interest of the child. During her fact-finding tour of Germany, Ms. Hijikata will also visit, among others, the German Central Authority in Bonn as well as a family court in charge of HAC proceedings.

For further information, please visit https://www.zank.de/en-website/index.php

Bild von Figuren

German Association supports upward social convergence through a ‘European Pillar of Social Rights



On 8 March 2016, the European Commission initiated a ‘Consultation on a European Pillar of Social Rights’ and also presented a ‘First preliminary outline of a European Pillar of Social Rights’. In its contribution to this consultation, the German Association calls for a stronger socio-political focus in the European Union, while preserving the social policy responsibilities in the Member States in accordance with EU primary law. To facilitate improvement of the social situation in the Member States, it would like to draw attention to the positive experiences Germany has had with the principle of subsidiarity, including the active role of civil society, as well as solidarity in the financing of welfare provision systems. The German Association supports the European Commission’s objective of achieving upward social convergence with improved economic and social cohesion in the EU through the ‘European Pillar of Social Rights’ (EPSR). The German Association calls on the Member States to strive for high-level social policy convergence of European welfare provision systems and to involve regional and local stakeholders, social insurance providers as well as stakeholders in civil society, for example non-statutory social welfare organisations, in the process.

Opinion of the German Association on the Consultation on a European Pillar of Social Rights
Opinion of the German Association on the Consultation on a European Pillar of Social Rights [PDF, 80 KB]

Bild von einer arbeitenden Frau

German Association: Integration of the long-term unemployed requires tailor-made approaches



The European Commission has submitted to the Council of the EU a proposal on the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market. The Council reached political agreement on December 7, 2015 and is expected to adopt a Council Recommendation in 2016. The German Association for Public and Private Welfare welcomes the fact that the Commission’s proposal responds to the need for action to combat long-term unemployment in the EU. In addition, the German Association calls on the Council to encourage Member States to create frameworks for personalised guidance for the long-term unemployed and to develop group-specific services, as well as to consider the integration of the long-term unemployed as the responsibility of society as a whole. The German Association emphasises that the Council Recommendation has to clarify that the specific conditions of the individual Member States must be taken into account and existing standards must not be lowered.

Opinion of the German Association on the European Commission’s Proposal for a Council recommendation on the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market
Opinion of the German Association on the European Commission’s Proposal for a Council recommendation on the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market [PDF, 190 KB]


Michael Löher presents the German model of social services provision and the role of the German Association at the EESC in Brussels


German Association’s Managing Director Michael Löher gave insights into the German practice of social services provision at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), an EU consultative body representing employers, employees and civil society organisations. “Cooperation between the public sector and civil society in providing social Services of General Interest” was the title of the conference on 29th June 2015 that aimed to exchange best practices of cooperation in different Member States and to reflect on the provision of social Services of General Interest at the European level. The meeting featured presentations of different solutions and ideas from France, Germany and Poland. Michael Löher’s presentation stressed the importance of the traditional cooperation between local authorities and non-profit private social welfare organisations in the interest of high quality social services for German citizens.

EESC information on the conference:
http://www.eesc.europa.eu/?i=portal.en.events-and-activities-social-services-concepts-solutions

Conference programme:
Conference programme [PDF, 300 KB]

German Association presentation:
German Association presentation [PDF, 430 KB]


German Association at the 23rd European Social Services Conference: “Strengthen local partnerships for better social services


The German Association for Public and Private Welfare regularly takes an active part as a member of the European Social Network. ESN’s 23rd European Social Services Conference “Building partnerships to improve lives” took place in Lisbon, Portugal, 6-8 July 2015. The German Association chaired a workshop together with the network Reinventing Social Affairs: “Partnerships in Changing Communities: cooperation between local authorities, citizens and service providers as a response to demographic change”. The workshop was a great opportunity to show a typical German cooperation between private social service deliverers and public authorities while presenting innovative ideas of cooperation at the same time.

Our report on the workshop:
workshop report dv [PDF, 160 KB]
The workshop presentation:
workshop presentation [PDF, 740 KB]

For further information, ESN’s reports and a video about the conference:
http://conference.esn-eu.org/
http://www.esn-eu.org/news/675/index.html
http://www.esn-eu.org/news/679/index.html
http://www.esn-eu.org/videos/35/index.html

Getting Care Right for All Children: Implementing the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children


International Social Service-General Secretariat, along with many international entities, have developed an online course: to help child welfare professionals understand how to implement the UN Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. This six week interactive course begins May 15th. Attending this training will help you better understand how to implement these alternative care policies and practices for thousands of children who live without parents.

Learn more [PDF, 350 KB]

Register now: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/alternative-care





Getting Care Right for All Children

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