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Jugendamt (German: Youth office) is a German and Austrian local agency set up to promote the welfare of children. Each municipality, town or “Kreis” (county) – depending on its size – has its own “Jugendamt”. Its structure is flat and does not have any centralized country-wide (own or federal) coordinating office. In Germany the youth offices were created during Weimar Republic by the “Reichsgesetz für Jugendwohlfahrt” of 1922, in force since 1924. Since beginning its internal regulations are left without any major changes. Like many other organisations, the youth offices were terribly abused in Nazi Germany. Since the local organizations function independently there is no actual federal administrative supervision. Except that, functions and powers of the youth offices in present Germany and Austria are very much similar to what the Child Protective Services in the US and the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in England and Wales do.


The Federal Statistic Bureau (Statistisches Bundesamt) shows[1] steep rise in number of children with problems taken by Jugendamt yearly into safeguard.

  • 23432 in 1995
  • 25664 in 2005,
  • 77645 in 2015
  • 61383 in 2017

The main reason reason for this is the high number of unaccompanied underage refugees, who are by law required to be taken into safeguard by Jugendamt (e.g. 45.000 in 2016). Among the children (age 0 - 13) more than 50% return to their parents within two weeks.

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Similar organizations in other countries[edit]


  1. ^ "Pressemitteilungen - 61 400 Inobhutnahmen zum Schutz von Kindern und Jugendlichen im Jahr 2017 - Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis)". www.destatis.de.

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